In House Histories, Britain’s leading house historian uncovers the hidden stories and secrets of ordinary and extraordinary houses across the country. The wide range of houses, from workers’ cottages to aristocratic mansions, offers a unique insight into our social and architectural history. Tudor farmhouses, Georgian town houses, modernist twentieth-century designs and converted factories all have a tale to tell.
Melanie Backe-Hansen digs into the past of homes once occupied by famous figures such as H.G. Wells and Benjamin Disraeli, ‘Miss Moneypenny’ and the Second World War SOE recruits. Details of the daily lives of ordinary people emerge from the railway and fishermen’s cottages or silk weavers’ terraces in which they lived.
From Hampstead Garden Suburb to the slum clearances of Manchester’s Hulme, the reader is taken through the centuries of change experienced by each house, exploring past occupants and architectural alterations. Entries are illustrated with a range of historic maps, photographs, prints, archive records and contemporary images.
As a nation we are obsessed by property: prices, interior design and restoration, and the creation of a home. Now there is another avenue to explore: your house’s history. House Histories helps readers get started by outlining the main research sources and how to use them.