Britain has many old houses, as well as houses only a few days old. If you walk down a street in a town or city you could walk past Victorian, Tudor, Georgian and modern houses, all mixed together. But how can you tell when they were built?
In this section of our website we will show you the clues you need to know to identify how old a house is. We look mainly at the outside of houses, however, by doing this we can often tell much about what is inside a house too.
The purpose of a house has changed over the years especially the rooms inside.
If you could buy and design a house what rooms would you include? I bet you would have several rooms including one to cook in, sleep in, play in, wash in, a tv room, games room, a swimming pool, etc
You would expect your house to have running water, electricity, gas etc. You would want it to be warm in the winter, cool in the summer and keep you dry when it rains. You would also want it to be reasonably secure - large windows to let the sunlight in but the burglars out.
Your needs today are very different to people who lived in houses long ago.
Take for instance the Celtic family. They all lived in one room. In fact their house only consisted of one room and they sometimes brought in their animals too to keep them safe from predators.
I wonder what a Victorian gentleman would think of your list of rooms. Did you include rooms for your servants? A Victorian worker would be amazed at the number of toilets or bathrooms in your house. He would have had to share an outside toilet and one water pump with everyone else in his street!
Houses tell us something of the people who built them and of the times in which they lived. Sometimes we have to hunt for clues because over the years a house may have been added to or altered or its use change.
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