Documentary sources

Researching the history of a building

1577 will of William Copard ESROw157738 compressed and cropped"I William Copard being sycke of bodie and hool of mynd and in good Remembrance..." (1577, Chailey). Wills, and sometimes inventories, provide insight and sometimes hard facts.Searching the records

It is always good practise to look for physical evidence and documentary evidence in tandem.

We advise householders to carry out at least some initial documentary research in advance of our visit. This can be done free of charge at your county record office, and online on their website. They will provide advice and support on how to begin your search:

East Sussex Record Office (ESRO), the Royal Pavilion & Museums Local History Collections, and the University of Sussex Special Collections are all at The Keep, Brighton.
Kent History and Library Centre at Maidstone.
Surrey History Centre at Woking.
West Sussex Record Office at Chichester.

In addition, a search of the Discovery catalogue of The National Archive (TNA) may be rewarding.

Thus, any evidence to be found in the standing building might be linked to firm facts from written sources, to build up a more rounded history of a property.