Melanie Backe-Hansen


History and Information Studies, School of Humanities

Portrait photo of Melanie Backe-Hansen
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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