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What’s in a name? – The history of naming a property
The custom of naming a property is an old British convention which began with the landed gentry naming their manor houses and castles in the 17 Century and the idea gradually spread to the masses, and everyday civilians began naming their homes too.
By: Jon Moore
Traditionally the name was based on who owned the property or the area in which it was located.
Many properties were called after a certain trade. For instance, if the owner was a blacksmith, he may have called his home Forge Cottage, or a flour merchant would have lived in Mill House.
Once the convention of house naming became more common, many other owners started to name their homes after distinguishing features within the boundaries of the house. Rose Cottage, The Pines, Oak Cottage and Treetop House all became popular.
Today, the previous usage of the building often inspires house names such as The Threshing Barn, The Old Schoolhouse and The Old Rectory. Other people choose features of their home such as Tall Chimneys and Green, or the view from the property is used as inspiration, such as Meadow View.
Naming your home after animals usually seen around the property is also very popular, such as Badgers Keep, Cuckoo Cottage, Fox Hollow and Kestrels.
UK properties had only house names and not numbers until 1765 when an act of Parliament decreed that all new properties must also have a number and street name for better identification of properties and boundaries.
Nowadays, if your property has already been designated a number, you must display the house number clearly within the boundary of the property and always use the house number in your address line.
If you do this, you can also choose to use any house name you like without notifying the post office or local council.
If your property already has an existing house name but no number, and you wish to change the name of the property, permission must be sought from the post office and local council first.
You will also need to notify your local council of your intention of changing the house name in writing before you can use the new house name for your address.
If a property in the local neighbourhood already has the same name, you may not be able to use the house name because it could cause confusion to the post office, emergency personnel or council workers.
It is worthwhile just taking a walk around your local neighbourhood making notes of existing house names and thinking of several alternatives before applying to the council. Some councils charge a registration fee for the service.
Research from property website Mouseprice.com revealed that properties called Courtenay House tend to be more expensive than those with any other name.
Three properties called Courtenay House have been sold over three years in Winchester, Exeter and North London. The values of each ranged from £2.9million to £7.7million;
The name is linked to the House of Courtenay, a dynasty from medieval France. A branch of the family settled in Britain in the 12 Century and the name has remained popular ever since, especially in Devon.
The research also revealed the property names which change hands most often. Since 2000, more than one house called The Cottage has sold every day.
The 10 most popular house names in Britain are The Cottage, Rose Cottage, The Bungalow, The Coach House, The Barn, The Lodge, Ivy Cottage, Sunnyside, Orchard House and Woodlands. The Old Rectory is the most popular name for properties valued at over £800,000.
For more information on UK property and the market in general, please visit http://www.themovevchannel.co.uk/
Notes to editors:
TheMoveChannel.com is a property website that was founded in 1999 as an online resource for buying, selling and learning about property. It now receives as many as 300,000 visits per month and advertises over 50,000 properties in nearly 90 countries, which are listed by over 500 partner organisations.
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TheMoveChannel.com is a property website that was founded in 1999 as an online resource for buying, selling and learning about property. It now receives as many as 300,000 visits per month and advertises over 50,000 properties in nearly 90 countries.