Archive of the month
Archive of the month
Iver House Sales Particulars
Reference D-W/70/6 and D-TR/9/17
The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies has a large collection of sale particulars for individual properties and estates, ranging from a single cottage to the whole of Old Amersham. They can be very valuable in giving descriptions of a property, sometimes with floor plans, and are particularly useful when the property no longer exists. They can also omit information which would be useful, for example the name of the owner or the sale price of individual lots. Some of our catalogues were evidently the copies held by attendees at auctions, with notes scribbled in the margins on prices and purchasers.
They have the advantage of being much more specific than deeds about the nature and extent of the property being sold. They provide detail that defines the property and helps avoid otherwise easy to make errors. For instance, two sale catalogues in our collection discuss Iver House in Iver. Many types of documents would refer to the property as just ‘Iver House in the parish of Iver’ but these sale catalogues tell a different story.
The first (reference D-W/70/6) is particulars of property to be sold by auction on 26 July 1767 at Garraway’s Coffee House in Exchange Alley, London. As well as Iver House it includes the manor of Iver and several farms. The description of Iver House includes a breakdown of the rooms and the rental value of the various piece of land which make up the estate. It includes only a text description of the property, without a map or drawing of the property. Such details appear more frequently in the 19th century.
Iver House (originally Hill House) was built in the sixteenth century. In 1767 it was purchased by Sir William Young (died 1788), whose son, also Sir William, sold it to Charles Clowes in 1790. Image treference D-X 630/3 shows the house in August 1793. He changed the name of the property to Delaford Park, then demolished the original mansion and constructed a new property. However in 1856 this was also destroyed by fire and Charles Clowes (son of Charles) built a new house called Delaford on a different site. The site of the original house was sold to Christopher Tower, who constructed a new mansion, also called Delaford Park in 1875. There is still a property on this site, although there appear to have been extensive alterations since that date.
The second sale catalogue (reference D-TR/9/17/1 and D-TR/9/17/2) is much more expansive than the earlier one, including not just a written description of the property for sale but also a plan and an artistic depiction of the house involved. It covers an auction sale in London on 23 July 1863 of another property called Iver House. This appears to have been built around 1800 and passed through several owners over the years. The description states that “The property is arranged with much judgement and taste and is fit for the immediate reception of a Gentleman’s Family”. Other selling points are “the situation is dry and healthy, and there is an abundant supply of pure Spring and Soft Water”, and the location could not be more convenient as it is only 14 miles from London. This property is still standing and is still called Iver House. A 20th century sale catalogue not shown here also survives in our collections, reference SC/226/6
Using these records we can tell that these are clearly two different properties, allowing us to search for additional information elsewhere.
The originals are on display in the Archives searchroom.