Moving house

The normal convention for changing the view out of your window is either to replant the garden or move house. If your house is made of wood you might consider loading it onto a flatbed truck and transporting it to an outlook more of your choosing. In extreme cases even a more substantial structure can be moved, brick by brick if necessary.

Another approach that I have come across in my research is for the property owner to build a new house nearby and incorporate their former home into outbuildings such as stables or store rooms. This practice can throw the house historian, especially if the new house is some distance from the old one. There you are scanning maps of different vintages back through the years until suddenly the house you’re researching disappears from the records and you’re left staring at an empty field. Meanwhile, the owner of the property continues in the records paying the same amount of tax or claiming the right to vote for a property that, on the face of it, doesn’t appear to exist. Now wise to the practice, I’m on the alert for possible buildings in the vicinity that may have been the former family home. In one case the old house was two hundred yards away nestling between the pigsties and the cattle shed. No wonder they wanted to move.

Pig in styArmed with this intelligence, and supposing the old building is still there, a site visit can confirm or deny the hypothesis. Whether this will be the case in my latest project remains to be seen.

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