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Valentines Mansion and Park – the happy story of a 
rescued late seventeenth-century house and  gardens 
about 5 minutes walk from the station.
Valentines was for many years the despair of local residents as they watched it going steadily downhill. Happily, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, they (and you) can now wander peacefully round the grounds of this old house once again and enjoy restored features of the original garden, plus some imaginative new layouts and planting, including raised vegetable plots in the courtyard of a pleasant cafe.

Among the things to be found are canals (which those with a knowledge of garden history will recognize as having been influenced by Dutch garden design), a large boating lake, an art gallery in a dovecote and plenty of open grassy areas where children can run around, as well as a refurbished play area.

There are all sorts of intriguing things at Valentines, but oddly enough what really caught my imagination was something modern -a ghostly set of acrylic chairs in the Drawing Room in late eighteenth century style, a reminder of long-vanished elegance.

A complete history of the house, map of park and details of the original owners can be found here. For opening times of the Mansion, now used for a variety of communal activities,  click here (The gardens are open every day.)

Photos (to enlarge, click on image)
Valentine Mansion
Alcove seat, Long Water
Gateway to Knot Garden/Knot Garden
Dovecote and Kitchen Garden
Ghostly chairs in Drawing Room.

Directions: From the Tube station walk towards the large roundabout on the A12 and turn left down Cranbrook Road (south). 5 minutes walk will bring you to the park gates
© DR
Gants Hill is just one walk from the many to be found at London Tube Rambles. There are architectural gems, beautiful country views, historic places and quirky buildings even in the most unpromising areas covered by outer London Underground stations. Usually the discoveries are within a mile of the Tube - often only five minutes walk away. If you reached this as an individual page via a search engine, you might like to go to and see the other destinations explored. You'll be amazed at what's out there!