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House History Resources

How you can trace the history of a building by making use of our resources including maps, title deeds and directories.

For advice on carrying out research into house histories in Gloucestershire download How to begin researching your house history. You can find details of private researchers who can carry out research on your behalf in the downloadable document to the right. You can also access lots of useful free advice at the Trace My House website. Our Research guides can tell you more about the sources we hold.

Sources to get you started


  • Ordnance Survey maps, c.1880-1970s
  • Finance Act maps and books of reference c.1915
  • Tithe maps and apportionments, c.1840
  • Inclosure maps and awards, c.1780-1820
  • Estate maps and surveys, 17th-19th century

Census enumerators' returns

  • Microfilm copies of the census returns, 1841-1911, for the whole of Gloucestershire including Bristol, with street indexes for Gloucester and Cheltenham

Trade and Street Directories

  • These survive from the late 18th century and cover the whole county with individual volumes for Gloucester, Cheltenham and some of the market towns in the county

Electoral Registers and Poll Books

  • The poll books from 1763 and electoral registers from 1832 include the names of those entitled to vote. They cover the whole county but do not include every person over 21 years old until 1928

Sale particulars

  • 18th and 19th century sale particulars can include a description of the property; late 19th and 20th century ones can include detailed plans and photographs

Title deeds

  • These can date from the 12th century to the 20th century and can include details of the owners and occupiers of a property as well as details of the property itself, sometimes with a small plan

Printed sources and photographs

  • The Victoria County History of Gloucestershire covers about half the parishes in the County and gives a short but detailed account of the history and development of each place. This includes information about significant houses and buildings
  • Gloucestershire Archives has a wide range of books and articles about significant houses and buildings in the county as well as books relating to architecture
  • Gloucestershire Archives has a large number of prints and photographs of properties from the 18th century to the 20th century

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