Forster based his description of Howards End on a house at Rooks Nest in Hertfordshire, his childhood home from 1883 to 1893. The house, known in Forster's childhood as "Rooksnest", had, as in the novel, previously been owned by a family named Howard, and the house itself had been called "Howards" in their day. According to his description in an appendix to the novel, Rooks Nest was a hamlet with a farm on the Weston Road just outside Stevenage. The house is marked on modern Ordnance Survey maps at grid reference TL244267. Since Forster's childhood, Stevenage has expanded beyond the house, now encompassing it.
Wickham Place, the London home of the Schlegel sisters, was demolished to make way for a block of flats; it did not have a direct real-world counterpart. However, Forster's conception of it owed a great deal to 1, All Souls Place, where the sisters of Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson lived.