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House Detectives

by janet on 11 July 2020

[This page is being edited]

The WHS House Detectives project aims to help people trace the history of their house, or any other building of interest in the village. This is done through a series of talks and workshops to explain different styles of building, building materials & features, and to familiarise people with all the different kinds of document that might help in researching the history of a building. These themes are expanded below. Some of the houses in Walkern are also used as case studies, notably The Laurels (80 High Street) and 96 High Street

Architecture and style of buildings

  • Box frame houses
  • Open Hall houses and the Wealden house in Walkern
  • Roof styles
  • Beams
  • Wall infilling
  • Chimneys
  • Types of brick and bonding patterns
  • Rendering and cladding


  • Property deeds – deeds may be a bundle of documents
    • Mortgage documents
    • Lease documents
    • Wills & probate
    • Sale adverts and brochures
  • Photographs
  • Maps – especially tithe map and award
  • Census data – 1841-1911
  • Church registers, Birth, Marriages & Death
  • Rate books
  • Electoral Rolls
  • Wills & Probate
  • Court, Government and Criminal records
  • Vestry minutes (forerunner of Parish Council), some of Walkern’s Vestry minutes have been transcribed
  • Directories – school, business, church, telephone
  • Newspapers, gazetteers
  • Military records
  • Walkern School logbook 1862-1896, available through WHS
  • Possible mentions in John Izzard Prior’s diary extracts published in A Chronicle of small beer

B) How to


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