Pinpoint the business location

This guide was last updated in 2014

No exact address is ever given for Robert Houghton, but the 1886 Ordnance Survey shows a Houghton’s Yard on Ber Street which no longer survives.

Using old photographs from Picture Norfolk, census returns, earlier maps, sales particulars and building plans it was possible to identify Houghton’s Yard as where he lived. Of particular use was Matthieson’s 1867 trade directory which lists residents on the west and east side of the street in turn, and identifies the location of yards and inns.

The location was confirmed by measuring the distance on the ground against the Ordnance Survey and in relation to surviving buildings and yards. Ordnance survey maps for Great Britain can be searched for free at

Trade directories proved invaluable once again in identifying the house in which Mary Berry the staymaker lived in on Pottergate the 1850s. As this street passes through three parishes the census enumerators did not simply walk up and down the road. Instead they followed the parish boundaries crossing onto other streets and back again.

By cross-referencing neighbours from the 1851 census return in trade directories, then using the enumerators report which described the route taken, and once again, the Ordnance Survey, it was possible to retrace their steps exactly and locate the house.

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