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A historic house generally meets several criteria before being listed by an official body as "historic." Generally the building is at least a certain age, depending on the rules for the individual list. A second factor is that the building be in recognizably the same form as when it became historic. Third is a requirement that either an event of historical importance happened at the site, or that a person of historical significance was associated with the site, or that the building itself is important for its architecture or interior.
Houses were first thought of as historic rather than just old or interesting, during the early nineteenth century. Government protection was first given during the late nineteenth century.
Historic homes are often eligible for special grant awards for preservation. What makes a historic home significant is often its architecture or its significance to the culture or history of the area. There are some organizations that offer services to research the history of a home and others that provide repositories for users to document the history of their homes.
Historic homes may still be inhabited, and thus should not be confused with historic house museums.
English historic houses
The following are historic houses in England:
- Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire – Medieval fortified keep and house with state apartments
- Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire – Vanbrugh's monument to the 1st Duke of Marlborough and England
- Brighton Pavilion, Sussex – Prince Regent's Oriental palace
- Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire – Elizabethan opulence round medieval core
- Burton Agnes Hall, East Riding of Yorkshire – Late-Elizabethan house by Robert Smythson
- Castle Howard, North Yorkshire – Vanbrugh's Baroque palace
- Chatsworth House, Derbyshire – Ducal palace in parkland setting
- Haddon Hall, Derbyshire – Medieval fortified hall house round courtyard
- Hampton Court, west London – Palace of Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII, converted by Christopher Wren, Vanbrugh and William Kent
- Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire – English prodigy house, built for Bess of Hardwick
- Harewood House, West Yorkshire – Robert Adam palace altered by Charles Barry, Old Master collection
- Holkham Hall, Norfolk – Masterpiece of Palladian revival, with original decoration
- Kensington Palace, Central London – Christopher Wren palace, William Kent state rooms, Mary II of England's domestic apartments
- Kingston Lacy, Dorset – Italian palazzo housing Grand Tour collections
- Kiplin Hall, North Yorkshire – Jacobean craftsmanship with other styles in an English country house
- Knole, Kent – Medieval and Jacobean palace of the Barons Sackville, cream of Elizabethan and Jacobean craftsmanship
- Parham House, Sussex – Elizabethan house barely altered, with collection of rare embroidery
- Speke Hall, Lancashire – Elizabethan mansion, restored but largely as built
- Syon House, west London – Robert Adam's interiors in Thames-side mansion
- Wilton House, Wiltshire – Palladian palace with Inigo Jones and James Wyatt interiors
- Windsor Castle, Berkshire – Favoured home of the monarch, state rooms of all periods
Welsh historic houses
The following are historic houses in Wales:
- Castell Coch, South Glamorgan – Built on the foundations of a late 13th century castle by William Burges from 1871–91 as a summer residence for John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute
- Erddig, Wrexham – Built from 1683 to 1693, with wings added in the 1720s and a blend of later redecoration
- Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd – Described as the most admired of the late Georgian and early Victorian pretend-castles, built from 1820 to 1845 by Thomas Hopper for the Pennant family
- Plas Mawr, Conwy – Described as the best-preserved Elizabethan town house in Britain, with a gatehouse added in 1585 to the house built from 1576 to 1580 by Robert Wynn
- Powis Castle, Powys – Built by the Prince of Powys in the late 13th century, with notable interiors from the 1580s, the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and the early 20th century
Scottish historic houses
The following are historic houses in Scotland:
- Brodie Castle, Moray – Built in the 1560s, enlarged in the 1630s and 1820s, contains a collection of art and antique furniture
- Culzean Castle, Ayrshire – Built between 1776 and 1792 by Robert Adam for the David Kennedy, 10th Earl of Cassilis, but both men died in 1792, leaving their work unfinished
- Holmwood House, Glasgow – A suburban villa built between 1857 and 1858 for paper mill owner James Couper, considered by some to be the finest work of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson
- Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute – Built from 1878 to 1900 for the wealthiest man in Britain, John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute
Northern Irish historic houses
The following are historic houses in Northern Ireland:
- Castle Coole, Co Fermanagh is a neoclassical mansion constructed by James Wyatt for Armar Lowry-Corry, 1st Earl Belmore from 1789 to 1798, but only furnished 36 years later.
Historic houses in the United States
Houses are increasingly being designated as historic in the United States as a way to resuscitate neighbourhoods and increase the economic health of surrounding urban areas. Designating a house as historic tends to increase the value of the house as well as others in the same neighbourhood. This can result in increased development of nearby properties, creating a ripple effect that spreads to surrounding neighbourhoods. Homeowners must pay to have their homes designated historic, so there is not necessarily an economic benefit to doing so.
French Colonial historic houses in the U.S.
- Bequette-Ribault House, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri – circa 1790s French Colonial
- Beauvais-Amoureux House, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri – circa 1792 French Colonial
- Louis Bolduc House, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri – circa 1792 French Colonial
- Jacques Guibourd Historic House, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri – circa 1806 French Colonial
- Harlow Old Fort House – built in 1677 using timbers from the Pilgrim fort of 1621–22, added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1974
- Jabez Howland House – built in 1667, added to the NRHP in 1974
- Old County Courthouse – built in 1749 and may include parts of the earlier courthouse from 1670, added to the NRHP in 1972
- Plymouth Antiquarian House (also "Hedge House") – built in 1809, added to the NRHP in 1974
- Spooner House – built in 1747 and allegedly haunted
- Canadian Register of Historic Places – an on-line directory of historic sites in Canada that are formally recognized for their heritage value by a federal, provincial, territorial and/or municipal authority
- List of historic houses
- List of Irish Towns with a Market House
- National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 – U.S. legislation intended to preserve historical and archaeological sites in the United States
- National Register of Historic Places – the United States federal government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation
- Historic Houses Association – non-profit organisation that represents 1,600 privately owned historic country houses, castles and gardens throughout the United Kingdom
- "What makes a property historic?". Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
- Stewart, Elizabeth (2011). "A History of Historic House Reconstruction: Understanding the Past and Informing the Future". Internet Archaeology 29. doi:10.11141/ia.29.3.
- Coulson, Edouard N.; Leichenko, Robin M. (2001). "The Internal and External Impact of Historical Designation on Property Values". Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics (Kluwer Academic Publishers) 23 (1): 113–124. doi:10.1023/A:1011120908836 – via SpringerLink. (subscription required (. ))
- Narwold, Andrew; Sandy, Jonathan; Tu, Charles (2008). "Historic Designation and Residential Property Values" (PDF). International Real Estate Review 11 (1): 83–95. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- Zahirovic-Herbert, Velma; Gibler, Karen M. (January 2014). "Historic District Influence on House Prices and Marketing Duration". The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics 48 (1): 112–131. doi:10.1007/s11146-012-9380-1 – via SpringerLink. (subscription required (. ))
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Historic houses.|
- Historic Houses Association of Australia
- Parks Canada – Canada's Historic Places
- UK Historic Houses Association
- US National Park Service's Register of Historic Places
- The DiCamillo Companion to British & Irish Country Houses – database of over 7,000 houses
- Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens – UK guidebook of over 2,000 houses open to the public
- Lost Heritage – A Memorial to the Lost Country Houses of England – list of over 1,700 houses
- National Trust for Historic Preservation – online database of historic houses in the United States