archistoryblog

Unlock what's happening at Archistory

Who commissions us?

People often say to me that they think what we do at Archistory must be a great job. I have to say that this is a hard statement to disagree with. We spend our days going to see wonderful and interesting houses and meeting people who share our passions for history and architecture.

In terms of demographics our client base can be summed up in exactly the same way that my family and I were categorised a few years ago when we were interviewed to adopt a cat from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in London. I saw that the lady filling out the form about us just wrote “really nice people” at the bottom of her questionnaire. I thought it a great compliment at the time!

Our clients are always not only ‘really nice’ but very interesting too. Although they often claim that their houses are not interesting enough, we are nearly always able to surprise them and show them that their houses and the lives of those who lived in them are fascinating and worth investigating. We usually reveal to them architectural details which they hadn’t noticed before in our drawings as well. It is strange to think that people generally spend very little time actually staring at the front of their own houses.

We are asked to create ‘Archistories’ for a wide range of clients. We are happy to produce pictures of pubs, hotels and other corporate buildings but the majority of our work is for private home owners who just love their houses. Of those owners, probably about two-thirds of the commissions we get are for surprise presents. A great deal of our time is taken up with making clandestine arrangements to view houses when one or other of the owners is out. It is always great to hear how the picture was received in the end!

Our clients also tend to fall into two distinct groups, which is quite interesting. There are those who have lived in their house for many years and are finally leaving. They want to take a record of the house and their mark on the history of the place with them, and there are those who are newly settled in a property. When the new owners move in they might carry out a few essential repairs, re-decorate or make alterations to the property. Then, when the dust settles and after they have been in the house about a year or so, they begin to wonder more about the past life of the building and those who have occupied it before them. Over 50% of our work is commissioned by people who have been in their houses for less than eighteen months.

Archistories make a unique and really special gift if you’re looking for something for your husband wife or partner. One piece of editorial we had about our work commented that “there’s no chance of getting two of these for Christmas!”

The Peat Spade

Flag on the Peat Spade Pub in Hampshire

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Ben Taggart Designer and founder of Archistory

Paul Murray House Historian

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