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History of House Names

Guide to House Names & House Numbers 

UK House Naming Guide -  short history of English House Names and House Numbers & useful guide on how to name or re-name your house and top 50 latest house names


History of House Names in the UK
Naming ones House is an old British custom which began with the gentry naming their manors, halls, and castles. The custom gradually spread to the masses and everyday folk began naming their homes as well. Traditionally the house name is based on who the house was 'tied' to or located at. For instance, the Lord of 'Evesham Manor' would have several properties tied to the estate. You might reasonably find Evesham Hall, Evesham Lodge, Evesham Cottages, The Gate House, The Dairy, The Barn, The Forge etc within walking distance of the Manor House.

Tradesmen and merchants also started naming their properties - Mill House, Forge Cottage, Wool Hall etc. Once the convention of house naming became the norm many other property owners followed suit by naming their house after distinguishing features within the boundaries of the house - Oak Cottage, Rose Cottage, The Pines, Orchard House, Meadow View etc.

Nowadays people name their homes from all kinds of inspirations. - The previous usage of the building inspires house names like The Barn, The Old Schoolhouse, The Old Rectory whilst some home owners name their house after well known beauty spots or places they have had happy holidays at like Ambleside, Windermere, Broadstairs, Sorrento, Santorini or Vermont. Other house owners choose features of their home like Red Gables, Two Chimneys or Grey Tiles. Sometimes the view from the property is used like River View, Mountain View, Vista Montenasa etc. Some home owners name their residence with terms like Serenity, Nirvana, Madhouse etc. Naming your home after animals usually seen around the property is also very popular - Badgers Cottage, Cuckoo Cottage, Curlew Cottage, Dolphin Cottage, Fox Hollow, Kestrels, Magpies, Mole End, Nightingale Cottage, Robins Nest, Rookery Nook, Squirrels Leap, Swallow Barn, The Jays and Two Hoots are all favourites.

Properties throughout the British mainland had just house names until 1765 when an act of Parliament decreed that all new properties must also have a house number and street name for better identification of properties and boundaries.
About house numbers in the UK
Since the introduction of street numbering by act of Parliament in 1765, every house built in a town and city has a designated number followed by the name of the road it is located in e.g. 20 Salisbury Avenue. The first house in the road is number one and the last house is the number of individual dwellings or buildings in the street. The number identifies the location of a property in a road and so makes it easier for the postal service or emergency personnel to find houses. 

Odd numbers are usually assigned to the left side of the street and even numbers to the right side heading out of the town center - usually from the town hall or other civic building. Many houses that have been added to a street since it had been given numbers would have been given a suffix instead. For example, next door to number 12 may be 12A and 12B as they where built on a parcel of land sold by the owner of number 12. Also a larger building may have been turned into apartments or flats which may be additionally numbered or given a suffix.

Even though each house has been designated a number it does not mean that we can’t personalise our homes with a house name as well. We can't change the designated house number but we can add a house name or even change an existing house name if we want.
Guidelines for naming a house