Discover your house history - tips from Lambeth Archives

A selection of tips and sources from Lambeth Archives to help you uncover the history of your house.

Archives enable all of us to discover the stories, facts, places and people that are at the heart of our communities. Find out what you can do when you visit Lambeth Archives.

See the main Lambeth Archives page for details of opening times and how to book a visit.

When your house was built and what the areas was like

Lambeth Landmark

Lambeth Landmark is a good place to start when researching your house history. It is our image website. Use the search boxes on the right of the screen to search for images of your street or area.

Images index

If you can’t find what you need on Landmark, try the images index in our search room. Find images, the age of a building, and understanding the local area.

Local studies library

Arranged by local area and subject, our local studies library contains books and pamphlets about the history of Lambeth on the shelves and in the blue boxes around the walls. Find background information on the history of your local area, or more specific information on a particular topic, for example architecture.


We hold large-scale maps back to the 1870s, and older maps too. These are useful for understanding how your street developed over time, and discovering what was there before your street was built.

Drainage records

We hold drainage records for every street in Lambeth. These are useful for working out the age of a building, and some of them include floor plans.

Archive indexes

Use the archive street index to look for references to your street. Find old title deeds, street re-numbering files, or even council records about the area’s development.

World War Two bomb damage incident reports

We hold incident reports for every bomb that fell in Lambeth during World War Two. They are indexed by street name. Find out if your road was directly affected by air raids.

Who lived in your house

Local directories

Our local directories list trades and occupants of houses and streets across London, if they chose to be listed. The best entries are between the 1840s and 1920s. You can get a feel for the area in general and the names and types of people who lived and traded there.

Census returns, 1841 to 1901 on microfilm

These are indexed by street, and recorded once a decade. You can also search by name on which can be accessed for free in most Lambeth Libraries. Find out about the people who lived in a residence, their age and occupation.

Electoral registers, 1832 to today

These are generally indexed by street, and include those who were registered to vote in Lambeth at that time. Find out who lived in a residence and their status.

Rate books and valuation lists

These are street indexed, and show details of rate payers in Lambeth. They cover from the 1790s to the 1960s with some gaps. Find out who lived in a residence, their status, and who owned the property.

Name index

If you know a surname, you can try our name index, which sometimes can help find old title deeds relating to land and property.