Launched in 2010, Benchmark House Histories offers a bespoke service - professionally researched and written texts about the history of a your house (pub, school or hotel etc). We have worked on a wide range of properties from cottages to castles: our first book was on Chilham Castle in Kent. Other subjects include Victorian and Georgian terraces, mills, rectories, thatched cottages, court lodges, medieval hall houses, forges and more. See here for some of our past book projects.
We have been featured in the Telegraph, Sunday Times, Independent, Tatler, Country Life, House & Garden, Grand Designs, Period Living and on BBC TV South East.
After graduating with a First Class degree in Photographic Studies, followed later by an MA in Photography at the Royal College, Carol spent ten years working as a photographer in London, creating images for the design and publishing sector from her studio in Highbury. She set up Benchmark House Histories in 2010 whilst living in Kent and joined forces with Cathy after a move to Hertfordshire in 2014.
Carol oversees projects from initial concept to print - retouching archival material, designing the layout and organising printing/production.
Carol and Cathy work closely with clients throughout the process to ensure the result matches their expectations - but they are equally happy to operate autonomously if required.
CATHY SOUGHTON is an experienced professional and qualified house historian with over thirty years' experience in historical research.
Cathy has a degree in Medieval and Modern history (which included modules specialising in local history and palaeography, both in Latin and English) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Architectural History from the University of Oxford. House history research is a specialised field and whilst many of the available documentary sources are those used by genealogists, as an architectural historian Cathy is also qualified to investigate the structural history of a house.
Cathy is a member of AGRA, the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives, which requires its members to meet high standards of expertise and professional conduct by proving their competence. She is one of the regular Ask the Experts at the annual Who Do You Think You Are? show at Olympia.