Delving into building history

The Fourteen Stars Inn, Bristol 1831-3 (Tate Gallery)Would you like to find out more about the history of your house?

Do you want to research any historic building? Is it in the United Kingdom or Ireland?

If so this guide by Jean Manco will start you on the detective trail. Some information could be just a few clicks away, but to get the full story you will need to visit libraries and archives. Researching Historic Buildings points the way.

It includes hints on planning a research programme, and clues to finding and understanding useful sources. There are bibliographies on everything from architects to Victorian architecture. There are quick guides to archives. There are introductions to a wide range of building types and architectural styles, plus the development of towns and villages. Eccesiastical sources are such a big topic that the Church gets a section to itself.

Please note that advertising of any type is not accepted anywhere on this website. This includes paid links, text, images, and articles. I am always pleased to receive news of genuine interest to my readers, but that does not include commercial websites and services.

News and updates.


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News and site updates

Scottish Valuation Rolls for 1865

The Valuation Rolls for 1865 have just been added to the Scotlands People website. These are the earliest so far made available online. The Lands Valuation (Scotland) Act 1854 generated these records. 19 March 2015.

Unlock King George III's historical maps and views

George III amassed a huge collection of more than 60,000 maps, plans and topographical views and watercolours dating from the period 1760 to 1820, which were transferred to the British Museum in 1823 by George IV and now reside in the British Library at St Pancras. It is a wonderful resource for research on historic buildings, as can be seen in the 2,500 images from the collection that have been made available online. So it is excellent news that a project is under way to properly catalogue and digitise the complete collection. An appeal for funds has been launched by the British Library for its first stage, covering maps and views of London and the South East. 6 January 2015.

Apologies for absense

My apologies to readers for neglecting updates to this website this year. I have been working on a new book on the Celts, due out in Autumn 2015. Further details will be announced next year on my other website Ancestral Journeys. My best wishes to you all for 2015. 29 December 2014.

Longford Cathedral arises from the ashes

St Mel's Cathedral at Longford restoredSome good news for the festive season. On Christmas Eve the Catholic Cathedral of St. Mel in Longford, Ireland reopened for worship after being gutted by fire on Christmas Day 2009. This Victorian cathedral was long in building. The foundation stone was laid in 1840, but the cathedral was not consecrated until 23 May 1893. Happily its restoration has been completed with commendable speed. 29 December 2014.

Scottish Valuation Rolls for 1925

The Valuation Rolls for 1925 have been added to the Scotlands People website. 9 December 2014.

Scottish Valuation Rolls for 1885

The Valuation Rolls for 1885 have just been added to the Scotlands People website. The new records comprise 1,441,484 indexed names/addresses and 77,238 digital images, and cover every kind of property that was assessed in 1885 as having a rateable value. 15 February 2014.

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