Melanie Backe-Hansen



Melanie is an historian, writer, and speaker, who specialises in researching the history of houses, streets, and areas throughout the United Kingdom. She has a degree in history from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and for close to six years Melanie was the first and only historian to be employed by a UK estate agent to research the history of houses and streets. Since 2012 Melanie has been an independent house historian, completing private house history commissions, as well as consulting for corporate projects and property companies.

Melanie is the author of two books: House Histories: The Secrets Behind Your Front Door (2011) and Historic Streets and Squares: The Secrets on Your Doorstep (2013) and regularly writes for luxury lifestyle magazines and the national press, including The Times and The Telegraph. Her house histories have appeared across the national media, including Financial Times and The Evening Standard, and she is also a frequent contributor of expert comments in the media, including Wall Street Journal , The Daily Mail, and BBC radio.

Melanie is also a regular speaker on the history of houses, including The Ideal Home Show, several local history societies, and in 2013 she presented a paper, ‘Living on the Shaftesbury Park Estate’, for Mobilising London’s Housing Histories: The Provision of Homes since 1850 for the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. She is a visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University, and has spoken at events at The Geffrye: Museum of the Home, including 'Living with the Past', in collaboration with the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London. Melanie is a member of the Royal Historical Society and the Society of Authors. She is also actively engaged in social media, including Twitter as @househistorian and has recently restarted her award winning blog at




Published articles

  • Ongoing house history column - The London Magazine (since 2015)
  • ‘A Walk in Chelsea’ The London Magazine (August 2015)
  • ‘Pockets of Tranquillity’ Kensington and Chelsea Magazine (May 2014)
  • Regular house history column - The Mayfair Magazine (2013-2014)
  • 'Behind the Facade' Kensington and Chelsea Magazine (August 2013)
  • 'Built to Last' Kensington & Chelsea Magazine (November 2012)
  • ‘Chelsea’s Secret Gardens’ Kensington & Chelsea Magazine (May 2012)
  • ‘Hidden Histories of our Houses’ Daily Express (July 15, 2011)
  • ‘Know your home’s history: Top tips on how to track down who lived in your house’ The Times (October 16, 2010)
  • ‘History through the back door’ (September 19, 2010)
  • ‘How to Trace the History of your Ancestral Home’ Your Family History (June 2010)
  • ‘House history: A home through the ages’ The Times (February 12, 2010)
  • ‘Benjamin Disraeli, Sir John Soane…and the Lord who stole slippers’ History Today online (October 20, 2009)
  • ‘The Times house history winners: Ryton House’ The Times (March 13, 2009)
  • ‘Discover the history of your house’ The Times (December 5, 2008)