Victoria County History

The Victoria History of the County of Essex has a full account of who owned what and when as well as details of other estates in the old Manor of Barking

The Victoria County History describes Valentines (as it was in the mid-60s) as follows,

Valentines house now stands in the north-west corner of the park. After 1907 it was used for various clubs, and, during, the First World War, to house Belgian refugees. Since 1925 it has been the Council's public health offices.It was built in the late 17th century but was largely reconstructed in the 18th. An earlier house there, depicted in 1652-3 as of moderate size, is said to have been rebuilt by James Chadwick. If so, the present house presumably dates from 1696-7, since Chadwick's mother-in-law, Elizabeth Tillotson, acquired the copyhold in 1696, and he himself died in the following year. An oak staircase with twisted balusters, an enriched ceiling above it, panelling in the enquiry office (probably re-set), and panelling and doors elsewhere, are of the late 17th century. Robert Surman, who held Valentines from 1724 to 1754, 'enlarged and improved' the house and gardens. His successor, Sir Charles Raymond, continued the reconstruction, probably completing it in 1769, when he placed his family crest, with the date, on the rainwater heads of the north, east and west fronts. Externally the house is almost entirely of the 18th century. It is a three storey building of brown stock brick with red dressings, having a small two storey addition, dated 1871, to the north. The entrance front has a late-18th-century porte-cochere built on a segmental plan and supported on a colonnade of Tuscan columns. The main, or garden elevation, facing south, has nine windows across the front, the outer pair at each end being in three-storied bowed projections. Further repairs and alterations were carried out in 1811. These probably included the canopied wrought iron balcony to the central first-floor window on the garden front. In the yard north of the house is a small octagonal stock brick building, thought to have been a dovecote. The garden retains various 18th-century features, including two rectangular canals, a rock-work grotto, a planned wilderness, and an avenue called the Bishop's Walk. The walk may have been named from Thomas Ken (d.1711), the nonjuring Bishop of Bath and Wells, who is said to have stayed at Valentines with the Finch family. The suggestion that it was named from Archbishop Tillotson seems less likely, since Mrs Tillotson did not acquire the house till after his death. Elsewhere in the park are large lakes and other features dating from the 18th century. Valentines was noted for its huge and prolific Black Hamburgh vine planted by (Sir) Charles Raymond in 1758. The former position is noted by a tablet.