On a visit to Valence House there's so much to explore. The moated medieval manor house contains what Museums Journal described as ‘one of the best local history museums in London’. Highlights include the Fanshawe family portraits, by artists such as Sir Peter Lely and William Dobson. Don’t miss the remarkable Dagenham Idol, around 4,300 years old and currently on loan from Colchester and Ipswich Museums. The Idol was discovered in 1922 and is one of the earliest known representations of the human figure ever found in Europe.
Wander round the herb garden, winner of the Green Flag and London in Bloom awards, and you’ll discover beehives, a World War Two Dig for Victory plot complete with replica Anderson shelter, a delightful pergola and many specimen trees.
Moving to the modern Visitor Centre, you can carry out local and family history research in the Archives and Local Studies Centre, with free access to the Ancestry and Find My Past websites. Round off your visit by enjoying refreshments in the Oasis Cafe, which also has the bonus of free wi-fi.
There are large-scale annual events such as the historical re-enactments, and a wide range of family-fun activities, talks, quiz afternoons, workshops and crafts sessions. Find out more on the dedicated website, or visit the DiscoverME website.
Phone: 020 8227 2034
Valence House Museum
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