Whatever the age of a house, whether a 16th century farmhouse or cottage, an 18th century mansion, a Victorian villa or a 1930s estate house, there may be sources in the Surrey History Centre to help trace its history. Tracing the history of your house takes time and patience but can be a very rewarding and absorbing hobby.
You will probably want to find out both the date of the building of the house and of later rebuildings or alterations, and the names of the owners and occupiers and how they lived. The nature and range of material available for this may vary from place to place and century to century. Sources for a 16th century timber-framed house, where architectural evidence may provide the only clue to its dating, will differ widely from those for an early 20th century terrace house for which a building bye-law plan may provide a date and name the architect.
The aim of this topic sheet is to help with the planning of your research in advance but not to describe individual classes of documents in detail. Our staff will be able to provide more advice and suggest specialist reference works. If your house is a conversion of a building once used for other purposes, eg, a school or public house, ask in the Surrey History Centre for advice about relevant records.