Researching English Villages

Waddesdon manorI’m toying with an idea for a historical romance and haven’t quite decided on what era or area my characters and their situation might fit into. The idea requires a rather large manor house or even a sprawling aristocratic estate. I’m rather fond of houses, so the more house, the merrier for me. If it’s deteriorating, even better—so much story material there!

I’d like the house to be relatively isolated, but it’s not a self-supporting estate, so I need some sort of small village nearby. People need to get out of the house occasionally! So I started by digging around in English villages to see where such a place might have existed in the 18th or 19th centuries. I don’t want to go further back than that.

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