The life story of a house is told by the stones, bricks, timber, tiles and thatch that make up its walls, floors and roof. This book describes how different structural techniques adopted by house builders down the centuries may provide clues to the date of construction. An unfolding story of alteration, improvement, extension (and occasional dilapidation) may be read in the layout f rooms or the style of features, fixtures and fittings. The history of an old house is also discovered in manuscripts and printed books, in archives and public libraries. These crucial sources are described and explained with the help of apt quotations and old documents and reproductions of maps, plans and pictures. Separate chapters unravel the intricacies of old title deeds, place-names and on-site survey methods.