10 November 1995

History on her doorstep

I AM frequently amazed that so many people who live in lovely old houses know nothing of their history. This is not an accusation anyone could level at Frances Mountford. She has researched the history of her 400-year-old cottage on the edge of Holmwood Common, Surrey, in the minutest detail.

Her research is presented in a most unusual book* which beautifully reproduces her handwritten text, paintings and drawings, that not only tell of the house but also of the families that have lived in it, and the changing nature of life in the countryside. TG

*A Commoners Cottage, by Frances Mountford. Alan Sutton Publishing (£12.99).