Getting to Know Your Period Home

Have you just bought a period house? Getting to know it? Bricks & Brass presents a uniquely detailed web guide to the history of your home.


In our Gallery, you can see photos of a variety of houses.

How Old Is It?

The first step in getting to know your house is to find out how old it is. As your own house detective, you will want to know when was it built? Some older houses hide a long history; a medieval house has perhaps been 're-skinned' with Georgian brickwork, extended in the 1850s and again in 1920. Victorian and Edwardian houses are less likely to have seen such radical change.

To date your house, we have advice on research and a dating tool.

What Style Is It?


The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style
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Some houses wear their design on their sleeve; they are Gothic and proud of it, or have clear Arts and Crafts origins. Many houses however, are more eclectic in their style; the original builder and subsequent owners have mixed and matched the materials used. For example, the builder found his customers liked a round top to the porch, or he had a good supply of a particular ridge tile. Or stained glass was really fashionable at the time. So don't be disappointed if you find no obvious design label; enjoy the hotch-potch!

On design, we have three sections:

  • For a guide to the main design styles of the late Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods, see Design by Style.
  • For a decade-by-decade guide to the main design styles used, see Design by Era.
  • For the design of particular elements, such as windows, see Design by Element.
  • For an overview of the different styles by room, see the Design by Room section.

People in Your Period Home

To understand the history of your home it is also fun to find out who has lived in it. Visit your local library, perhaps in the nearest larger town; they may have street guides and old electoral rolls.

In this section we present the life of a suburban family in about 1890.

Once you have got to know your period home, you can begin to care for it; move on to our sections on Caring for Your Period Home.