Recently on TV (BBC2) there was a wonderful programme called: 'A House through Time', presented by David Olusoga. It traced the history of a house in Liverpool: No 62 (formerly 58) Falkner Street, and the stories of its inhabitants from when it was built in the 1840s right through to the present day. Of course, I went to find the house.
Built as a home for a well-to-do merchant, when Liverpool was a great trading port for the British Empire, the presenter traced its owners and tenants and told their fascinating stories. There was a customs clerk with a taste for fine furniture and a lavish lifestyle, who went bankrupt; a young couple who rose from being servants, through hard work and clever financial deals, to having great wealth. There was a cotton broker who made a fortune from the slave trade, ended up in a debtors' prison and then fled to America, abandoning his family to the workhouse. Then it became a boarding house and there were many tenants, as the house and area (and Liverpool) suffered in the Great Depression. The series uncovered divorce, family violence, honourable people and ne'er-do-wells. The house was almost flattened by a bomb in Liverpool's Blitz during WWII and then almost demolished in the 1970s. Saved by an enterprising group of local activists, the house was converted into a home where creative people lived: a successful playwright and a young, gay restaurateur who died of AIDS/HIV in the 1980s. Nowadays it is a single dwelling once again, home to a middle-class family, as the area has been cleaned up and gentrified. The research involved was amazing and I found it a most educational and enjoyable programme, a very painless way of learning history.
I hope they do another series about another house somewhere. If you get chance to watch the series, do. I'm sure it will be repeated sometime.