Valence House Museum listed in top 50 free things to do in London

In the past few weeks the ValenceHouseMuseum has received three national accolades:

On the 17th July it was officially announced that Valence House had achieved the Green Flag Award. The application for the award was submitted by Gareth Winn of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Ranger Service. Gareth is responsible for maintaining and improving the Valence House grounds, herb garden and Victory Plot for the enjoyment and pleasure of visitors. The Green Flag is a national award for public and community parks and green spaces.

On the 18th July, The Guardian published its recommendation for top 50 free things to do in London.

"London is replete with small, local museums. One of the best area-specific examples can be found in the borough of Barking and Dagenham. These parts of London are often overlooked by visitors, but are steeped in social and cultural history. Valence House tells their story with aplomb, inside a largely medieval building that retains part of its moat."

On 23rd July it was announced that the Heritage Education Service; developed and delivered by London Borough of Barking and Dagenham staff at Valence House had achieved the Sandford Award. The award is distributed by The Heritage Education Trust and presently only 200 heritage venues across the United Kingdom have successfully achieved this award. Receiving the Sandford Award has placed Valence House alongside iconic historic buildings such as WindsorCastle and the Tower of London.

Some history on Valence House:

In 1291 Agnes de Valence retired to Dagenham following the death of her third husband. She was related to the royal family, her grandmother being Isabella of Angouleme, wife of King John.

Agnes lived here until her death in 1309. Her brother Aylmer then claimed the estate, and when he died in 1342 he was buried in Westminster Abbey as the Earl of Pembroke.

Although the de Valence family were only associated with Dagenham for half a century, local roads, a public park, school, library and museum all still bear their name.

No part of the house that Agnes de Valence lived in now remains. The earliest surviving part was built in the 1400s moving the structure into the early middle ages.

A newly-discovered wall painting has been dated to c.1600 and a survey of 1649 reveals a house much larger than today with parlours, dining-room, bedchambers and a variety of domestic offices.

Recent History:

In 2002 the Barking and Dagenham Archives and Local Studies Centre opened in Valence House. In December 2007 Valence House closed for a major refurbishment programme, it reopened in June 2010.

Other Information:

After touring the museum, you can relax in the tranquil surroundings of the HerbGarden, Victory Plot and Grounds. Round off your visit by taking refreshments in the Oasis Cafe and browsing in our gift shop (both located in the Visitor Centre).

Opening times
: Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm (except public holidays)

Admission: Free (some events may be ticketed)

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Address: Valence House Museum, Becontree Avenue, Dagenham RM8 3HT

Phone: 020 8227 5222