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Valentines Park,Ilford. A Century of History

By Ian Dowling

This book was commissioned by the Libraries Service as our contribution to the celebration of 100 years of Valentines Park.

Today's park is made up of various purchases and gifts of land, starting in 1898 and culminating in the 1920's. The Valentines Estate had been in private hands since long before the 1690's, when the present Valentines House was built. By the 1890's Ilford was growing rapidly, the population rose from 7,645 in 1881 to 78,188 by 1911. This increase in bricks and mortar spread eastward over the fields of Essex. The large private estates with their own farmlands began to sell up and move out.

In 1899 the Cranbrook Estate, to the west of Valentines, was about to be sold for housing. The northern boundary of development was the areas south of the Valentines Estate. The Council had acquired its first section of parkland in 1898 and was keen to enlarge its size, as land became available. The farsighted local officials realised that unless an area of 'relaxation and pleasure' was retained for the growing urban population, all traces of a rural undeveloped Ilford would be lost.

A glance through the many names of the organisations and events recorded here, will show that throughout its history the park has been such a place for 'relaxation and pleasure', for residents and visitors alike.

Pages 75
ISBN 0901616255
Edition 1st
Publication date 1999
Published by London Borough of Redbridge Libraries
Price 4.95

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Valentines Park,Ilford. A Century of History