Research Services



Understanding historic buildings, their sites and settings is the key to successful conservation, and an integral part of good conservation practice.

Ellen Leslie can provide background historical research to inform the conservation/repair process as well as write heritage statements and other assessment reports to support planning applications and applications for listed building consent. Clients include architects, property developers, surveyors, engineers and other historic environment professionals.

Research is carried out using primary and secondary sources, through site visits, local, national and commercial archives.

Private Homeowners

Ellen Leslie's research uncovers the history of the land from before the Domesday Book, the structural development of your house as well as previous occupants and any recorded alterations made to the property.

When commissioning a full social and structural house history, the research can be professionally bound and colourfully illustrated with historical documentation, photographs, drawings, plans and maps.

An alternative to a full house history is to commission a foundation search. This is particularly useful if there is something specific you wish to find out or to just get a feel for what could potentially be unearthed!

Whichever format you may use, there are many reasons why as a private homeowner you might wish to unlock the history of your house.

  • To support planning applications and in advance of any renovations or restoration
  • To be better informed about the historic construction of the house to assist with on-going maintenance
  • If you are selling, a history of your house would help in the marketing of the property, emphasising its unique story
  • As a gift – house histories always make excellent birthday, Christmas, anniversary and retirement presents. Gift Certificates available.


Ellen has extensive experience uncovering the lives and ancestry of families from the present day to the 16th century, as part of the private homeowner service. She can also help you trace your own family tree, whether you have made a start and have reached a dead end or are simply at square one. Searches range from tracing one ancestor, to establishing an entire line as far back as records will allow. Whether you need to solve a family mystery or establish the family story and a family tree for posterity, Ellen can help. Get in contact via this website for details.


Emphasising the heritage of a long-standing or family enterprise is a great way to present the business today. A company with roots shows stability and reliability to clients and suppliers and is a great marketing tool for brochures and websites. Past commissions have included hotels, theatres, cinemas, railway stations, family-run stores, pubs and industrial sites.


A service mainly for trade specialists, Ellen can help confirm the provenance of antiques and artefacts, through documentary evidence. Past commissions have included investigating the provenance of a set of Eric Gill carvings, a Henry Moore sculpture and the John & Elizabeth Cadwalader Tall Post Bedstead circa 1769.



Ellen provides research support for authors, whether for a factual book or fiction. Through primary and secondary sources, she can verify specific facts or provide historical background information to enhance the narrative. The most recent project was architectural and general historical research for the book “The Mistresses of Cliveden” by Natalie Livingstone.

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