Valence House Museum
|Valence House Museum|
|Town or city||Becontree, London|
Valence House Museum is the only surviving of the five manor houses of Dagenham. The timber framed museum building, partially surrounded by a moat, is situated in Valence Park off Becontree Avenue, in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, London, England. The building has been used a family home, construction site headquarters, local government offices, library headquarters and now houses a museum.
Valence House Museum
The museum contains permanent exhibitions on history and life in Barking and Dagenham, including displays from the 1945 Becontree Estate. It hosts regular special events for the public and school parties.
Valence House Museum, archives and local studies library closed on 22 December 2007 for a period of extensive refurbishment, partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It reopened in June 2010 and a few days later a plaque was unveiled to mark the funding. The refurbishment included a new purpose built archive and local studies centre.
A house was first established on this site in the 13th century, owned by Robert Dynes in 1280. Later tenants of the estate are commemorated in the road names surrounding the park. The name of the house derives from 14th century tenants, Agnes de Valence and her brother Aylmer, Earl of Pembroke, who came from a wealthy family in the French province of Valence, the family moving here when their uncle became king. The estate passed into the ownership of the Dean and Chapter of Windsor in 1475, and remained in their ownership until 1867, when it passed to the Church Commissioners.
In 1921, the London County Council (LCC) purchased the building and land to develop the Becontree estate. The house was used as the LCC headquarters during construction. The Dagenham Urban District Council acquired the premises. During 1928 and 1928 they extended to building for use as offices and the council chamber.
Valence House served as the town hall until 1937, when the Dagenham Civic Centre was completed. The house became the library headquarters of the borough. The house is now a museum, and houses the Borough Archives and Local Studies Library in a new building.
- London Borough of Barking and Dagenham: Valence House Museum