The name of Valence
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 (pictured right) 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. Unlike the present house, it faced north towards Green Lane. The corridor outside the present Cinema Room represents the front of this house. A newly-discovered wall painting has been dated to c.1600.
A survey of 1649 reveals a house much larger than today with parlours, dining-room, bedchambers and a variety of domestic offices. The 1662 Hearth Tax reveals Valence House had 15 hearths.
Most of Valence House is timber framed, the frames filled in with Lath and plaster work. Two rooms have wooden panelling dating from the late 16th century.
Visit the Valence House gallery for more details.
Ghosts of Valence House
Residents of Valence House