Researching the history of a modern house or flat
18th January, 2018


If you live in a modern house or flat, it doesn’t mean you cannot trace the history of your home. Through title deeds you can research what was there before your home was constructed; for example, was it a plot of land, part of an estate or an older house?

As part of our collection we hold deeds, particularly Assignments, relating to 117 Millbrook Road East in Southampton which is now home to flats.

In an Assignment dated 1 October 1924, we discover that 117 Millbrook Road, Southampton was owned by Mr William Charles Baker. By 1924 William Baker had died and his personal representatives were assigning the property to a new owner. The deed lists the personal representatives as Sarah Ann Clark of 2 Oxford Street, Southampton, a widow (commonly known as Sarah Ann Baker) and Arthur James Ellaby of 2 West Street, Southampton, a Solicitor.

The property was assigned to William Henry Garland, a retired signalman, for a price of £925 (today that’s approximately £28,000). Looking at the location of the property it is no surprise that railway workers resided in Millbrook Road; Southampton Central was, and still is, just a stone’s throw away.

The Assignment also tells us who the neighbouring landowners and lessees were. Land to the North and East of 117 Millbrook Road was owned by John Clark, land on the West was leased by Sophia Clark, and land to the South was taken up by a Turnpike Road.

Whilst this particular deed doesn’t tell us a great deal about 117 Millbrook Road previous to 1924, it does state that the property was previously known as ‘Freemantle Park.’ Using a variety of old maps and documents, you could discover at what point this particular section of land changed from Freemantle Park to 117 Millbrook Road. A useful map tool is available on the National Library of Scotland’s website here.

With the information gathered from this one deed, you can now dig deeper and trace the house history further back in time.

To see our full collection on Millbrook Road, click here.