House History Project

A project sponsored by the Bishop’s Waltham Society and the Bishop’s Waltham Museum Trust



The initial prompt for the Bishop’s Waltham House History Project was a talk, given to Society members, by local historian Edward Roberts in 2013. In it he mentioned a similar project being run by the East Meon History Group. A subsequent talk by Michael Blakstad, a member of that group, acted as a catalyst and some 20 Society members signed up for our project on the night. House History is also an increasingly popular activity across the country, no doubt spurred on by the current interest in family history and the increasing access to historical information via the internet.



The project itself intends to help individuals to conduct their own research.


Classic Arts and Crafts houses from 1905

This is likely to involve researching house deeds, census records, electoral lists, tithe maps, ordnance survey maps, rate books, directories, as well as estate or even manorial records. This may seem daunting but the purpose of the project is to provide support and help for anyone undertaking such research.


To this end, the sponsors have organised early meetings and presentations as well as training and assistance from Hampshire Records Office. But it will be up to each participant how much time and effort they are able to commit and that, in turn, will affect how fast and to what depth they can go.


By co-ordinating the investigations, the project group wants to enable individuals to collaborate and share information. By pooling, for example census data or tithe/copyhold information, work can be speeded up, costs saved and local detail shared.


 Tudor farmhouse with later additions



Because of the commitments undertaken by the organisers ahead of the 2015 ‘Road to Agincourt’ Celebrations at Bishop’s Waltham Palace, the House History project has been put on hold. The 600th anniversary of Henry V’s stay in Bishop’s Waltham would not wait but, by definition, house histories only age by a matter of months!


It is planned to re-start the project in early-mid 2016 – we know a lot of work has been going on in the background!



As a house owner, we would like to invite you to join the project and enjoy what promises to be a very rewarding exercise for those who participate.



In 2014 there are about 70 people who joined the project and we would welcome more. But we are conscious that some people who live in comparatively modern houses would also like to be involved in such research. So we have a selection of older properties who would welcome help and can offer an ‘adopt-a-house/shop’ opportunity.



We expect that the information collected will provide material for exhibitions, displays and maybe some publications.


If you would like to be involved, or know more, please let us know. Please feel free to mention the project to others who you think might be interested, or who have skills, knowledge or experience in this area of research (we’d like to gather all the help we can).


Tony Kippenberger

Chairman, Bishop’s Waltham Society or 01489 893473