'A House Through Time' returns

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06 September 2021
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David Olusoga sets out once more to uncover the history of a single house, exploring the lives of its residents to tell an extraordinary story that spans 150 years. Find out more and get started with your own house history research with our guides…

A House Through Time returns to BBC Two for a fourth series, and we're delighted to have worked with the programme makers to bring you exclusive guides, interviews, and insights.

The October 2021 issue of Family Tree is themed as a House History special and you can order it right now!

Packed with exclusive interviews from researchers and presenters on the BBC TV series 'A House Through Time' and from the UK's leading team of house historians #HouseHistoryHour, the issue is full of inspiration, ideas and insight to help you learn more about your ancestors' homes. To find out more and pre-order your copy, just click here.

Where is the house in series 4?

This time the house is in Leeds, a city whose wool and textile trades helped make Victorian Britain an industrial superpower.

The featured property is 5 Grosvenor Mount, a Victorian family home of middling social standing in the suburb of Headingley.

Current owners Jackie and Pete know very little about the house’s history, but reveal tantalising clues about its past - from a name scratched into a wall, to a crack rumoured to be caused by an earthquake.

David turns detective, combing the archives, tracking down evidence and interviewing experts to reveal the residents’ untold stories. He discovers characters from above and below stairs, and from all walks of life. It turns out that throughout its history Grosvenor Mount has attracted residents either on their way up in the world or - unfortunately for them - on the way back down.

The house has an exciting and varied history, intrinsically connected to the development of Leeds, with links to many different facets of the textile industry as well as to W. Nicholson and Sons builders and one of the city’s longest lasting institutions, the Leeds Mercury.

This is a timeline equally packed with a huge number of juicy domestic dramas, including love triangles, larceny, childhood abandonment and reversals of fortune. These include a Victorian lawyer entangled in a scandalous poisoning case, a ruthless factory owner hit by a vengeful arson attack, a traumatised soldier turned thief, and a war bride with a mysterious past.

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Episode one

David discovers our house’s first resident - idealistic Victorian lawyer William Bruce, who tries and fails to save the life of a man convicted to hang for murder. Decades later Bruce is serving as a Leeds magistrate when a similar case comes before him - can he save a young man’s life this time?

Tracking our house forward, David uncovers the remarkable rags-to-riches story of Ann Dawson, who went from working on the factory floor to living in style in Grosvenor Mount. When her husband’s business collapses, Ann looks set to lose it all.

Finally, David learns that our house was next home to master builder William Nicholson, founder of a famous dynasty that built Leeds landmarks, including County Arcade. William hands his business down to the next generation, but when Leeds train station is destroyed by fire, can William’s grandson ride to the rescue?

Discover the history of your house with our dedicated guides

You can learn much more about house history in our dedicated section of the website.

Video: Mary Crisp and Caroline Miller. Executive Producer Mary Crisp and Series Producer Caroline Miller speak about the thrill, privilege and enjoyment of working on 'A House Through Time'. Watch now

Video: Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan on home ownership, cultural capital & her grandparents' lives & experience. Watch now

The October 2021 issue of Family Tree is themed as a House History special and you can order it right now!


Image: (c) BBC