How to Research the History of your House: Kent Archives Guide

How To Research The History of Your House is a new 45-page colour booklet published by the Kent Archives Service, the first in a forthcoming series of Kent Archive guides. It provides a practical guide to investigate the history of your house, as well as a wide range of other buildings. It also introduces readers to the extensive archival sources that can be used to undertake such research. Particular reference is made to the archival and local studies collections held at Kent Archives, but equivalent sources can also be accessed in other county archives and libraries. This booklet can therefore be used to study both the history of houses and buildings in Kent and other parts of the country.

Researching a house’s history can be challenging with so many sources to explore and understand, so each type of document is fully explained, and an accompanying illustrative image provided. The three main aspects of house history research are covered: sources for the history of the site; sources for buildings, including public houses, Church of England and non-conformist churches and clergy houses, school buildings, and tollhouses; and sources for tracing people (owners and occupiers).

Although no single method for researching house history will work for all buildings, ‘a suggested house history methodology’ is given that will enable researchers to apply the booklet’s recommendations and undertake their own studies in a logical and systematic way. This is further enhanced by the inclusion of a case history of Fowlers Park at Hawkhurst, which uses the methodology suggested to illustrate how the sources can be explored in practice.

Gathering evidence to understand a home’s unique story is a rewarding experience, so if you have ever wondered who lived in your house, how it evolved, or how it has altered over the years, then this booklet will guide you through the process of inquiry and show you how to discover its history.

Copies are available to order direct from Kent Archives at a cost of £8.95 plus £2 p&p or collect from Kent History and Library Centre.

To request a copy please email [email protected].uk