Victorian Housing in Dunstable
The Manshead Archaeological Society has just received a grant from the CBA, to aid in its archaeological study of Victorian Housing in Dunstable.
The study will be broken down into a number of distinct elements, firstly to photographically record all the various types of houses found in the town relating to the period in question. This information will then be used to produce a catalogue of the different types of surviving houses; in order to try and identify any feature that can be subsequently isolated to specific builders or an identifiable date.
Identify in the streets discrete groups of houses through overall appearance and the architectural elements and try and relate these to documentary records in terms of building applications and any other relevant source materials. This information can then be plotted on maps and hopefully, the pattern and sequence of housing construction throughout the town in the period can be understood.
Using maps and details of the architectural features attempt to closely date the construction, and then compare this with any appropriate documentary references. This study is not just about bricks and mortar, it is also intended by means of census and other similar documents to establish who the owners and occupiers of the houses were throughout the period of study. Such research will need to involve looking at relevant census material and examining deeds to properties.
All in all, this should be an interesting and rewarding project through the methods outlined it is hoped that we can build up not only a sequence of housing types and development in Victorian Dunstable, but through complementary sources establish a `biography` for some of the individual houses that spans from their construction through to the modern day.
A more practical side of the study is that we intend to identify the houses that were built with cellars as opposed to shallow foundations, produce an overlay showing all areas in which previous archaeological deposits are likely to have been obliterated or severely truncated by Victorian developments.
Visit our website for more information: Manshead Archaeological Society∞
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