We are an independent group of volunteers - founded in 1970 - engaged in the study and recording of traditional domestic architecture.
We study, by invitation, old houses,cottages and other domestic and farm buildings, mainly in Surrey, and have recorded over 4,000 buildings. Each owner receives a report consisting of scale drawings and sketches of the structural and decorative features of the building, together with a page or two of comments on its origin and developments. The report is free of charge but we are grateful for small donations to help with the costs of photocopying, stationery and our publications fund.
For a more detailed explanation of what we do please see What is a Recording?
Our reports are not published, but copies are deposited in the National Buildings Record of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England at Swindon, and also in the Surrey History Centre at Woking on closed access (i.e. not available to the public).
A full list of the buildings we have recorded can be found on the Recordings pages.
Our recordings in Surrey, subdivided by Period and type of building, can be viewed as a Summary.
We work closely with the Surrey Archaeological Society Historic Buildings Conservation Committee and we also work with local societies and encourage the production of local histories.
We are currently engaged in the Surrey Dendrochronology Project in conjunction with the Surrey Archaeological Society, and with the support of Surrey County Council. This project has been awarded a grant from the Local Heritage Initiative of the National Lottery Fund to start on a County-wide investigation of old timber-framed buildings, which would involve over 200 buildings.
We maintain a computer database to provide both an index of our recordings and a reference source for research. Its aims and contents are fully explained on the Database page.
Our Illustrated Glossary explains and illustrates most of the terms used to describe the architectural features of the buildings which we record.
This will be an on-going project for some time, and meanwhile some terms may not be illustrated or included.
We should be grateful for any comments, suggestions and or photographs.
If you have, or know of, a pre-1850 house or other domestic building where we would be welcomed, please get in touch.
If you are a new owner of a building listed in our Recordings section and would like to have a copy of the report please send your request, together with your full postal address.
For either of the above please contact:
Mrs Brigid Fice - Bury Court Cottage, Bentley, Farnham, Surrey GU10 5NA Tel: 01420-22197
or by .
Please note that we do not provide copies to anyone other than the owner of a recorded building.
If you might be interested in joining us please see our Membership page.
DBRG News, which covers the activities of the Group as well as all aspects of domestic buildings architecture, is published three times a year and distributed to all members. An index for issues published between 1974 and 2006 is now included on this site.
The following articles of interest, which were originally published in the DBRG News, are included on this site:-
"Common Roof Trusses in Surrey" by Joan Harding & Martin Higgins.
"First thoughts on Carpenters' Marks" by Martin Higgins.
"Architecturally Speaking–Surrey Wattle and Daub" by Martin Higgins.
See also our Book list and list of Publications.
Our founder, MISS JOAN HARDING, F.S.A., was awarded the M B.E. in 1991 for services to the National Heritage in Surrey.
The D.B.R.G. was one of six finalists in the B.B.C. Chronicle Award 1980 and has been awarded a Certificate of Merit for an outstanding contribution to British Archaeology.
© DBRG 2 October 2017