Join us behind the scenes as we describe how we map your house with our Little House History Map! There is no doubt about it; people are fascinated with maps. Old maps can take us back in time to view an area as it was in the past, and new maps can show us places where we have never been. There is always that element of discovery.
At Discovering Heritage, we use maps every day; they help us date the houses we are researching.
We often begin by locating the property on historical Ordnance Survey maps; it enables us to provide our clients with a visual guide to the development of the street. It also helps us narrow down the dates that the property was built.
For example, Warwick Street in Heaton is not located on the 1st edition map circa 1860 but does appear on the 2nd edition map of 1899. These dates narrowed our search timespan to between 1860 and 1899. Maps are often the key to beginning a house history.
In 1746 the Duke of Cumberland commissioned a plan of Newcastle. One copy was made, which was drawn on vellum and is now in the British Museum. Isaac Thompson drew the plan. (Incidentally, Isaac Thompson founded the Newcastle Journal with William Cuthbert in 1739.)
At this time, maps were still decorative, some dotted with houses and other buildings, though maybe not as pictorial or symbolic as early medieval maps.
Mapping Your House History
Inspired by her work in museums with access to what lay in the vaults and by her thirst for travel using Google Maps as a means of planning a journey and exploring new places, our illustrator Wendy Malkin designs our Little House History maps. Every history is entirely bespoke.
Our Map Your House History poster is a miniature story of your house. It features a potted history of your home and sometimes the local area with text set around an illustrated map of the neighbourhood. The map highlights local features and buildings and shows the street address with small local landmarks and road names.
“I begin by sketching a few ideas on paper. Simple drawings like this help me develop my illustrations to stay in harmony with the pictorial aspect of the map. Once I am happy with the basics, I take my design to the computer and begin work on the graphics.”
Wendy’s designs are clean, sharp, and instantly appealing!
Adding The History
While Wendy is working on the graphics, other members of our team are digging through the archives to discover the history.
For this product, we look at the 1911 census and the 1929 register to find who lived in your house. We also search the newspaper archives for your area to find local history stories and present them in this uniquely researched illustration.
14 Albion Way London
In 1911 Ernest Albert Dodd lived at this address with his wife Mary Ann and their two young daughters Marjorie Aileen and Cecily Winifred Poppy. The family shared their house with a stockbrokers clerk named Henry.
Ernest Albert worked as an engineer for a lift maker.
By 1939 a different family was living at this address. Robert Anderson, a widower aged 70, lived here with his son Robert Anderson Junior who was 33 years old. Also living in the house were Winifred Alice Anderson and Madeline Mason, who undertook unpaid domestic duties. Mr Anderson senior worked as a cargo superintendent and Robert as a registered ship’s clerk.
It is possible the members of this household were present in 1940 when a horrific incident devasted the area. A German bomber was returning home after a raid, and it discharged its bombs over Lewisham; the brick street shelter on Albion Way suffered a direct hit. According to records, 41 people in or nearby the shelter lost their lives.
The victims are buried at Hither Green Cemetery, Verdant Lane and commemorated with the following inscription.
” To The Glory of God
And in Grateful Memory of
Those Citizens of the Borough
Of Lewisham, The Young The Active
The Elderly, Who Remaining At The
Post od Duty Lost Their Lives
by Enemy Action 1939 -1945″
An ARP message scribbled hurriedly on a form from the day states,
Major damage Lewisham at about 16.30 hours HE on or near public shelter junction Albion Way Lewisham High Street 100 casualties service sent 4 ambulance 7sp 2 rescue.
Time of origin of message 16.55
Discovering Heritage Discovering, sharing and re-telling the stories of yesteryear!
Specialist research into the history of your home.
Little House History Map
Your house history in miniature