Thames Tributary Cranbrook - Valentines

Thames Tributary Cranbrook

The Cranbrook flows south west through Valentine’s Park

Post to the west Cranbrook
Post to the east Seven Kings
Post to the south Great Ilford
Post to the north Gants Hill

Bethell Avenue
A scheme of seventy houses by H. C. Lander for the Town Planning and Garden Co. c. 1910, with larger than average individual dwellings
Bethell, like Holcombe was a tar manufacturer – and for a while they used the same site in Greenwich

Cranbrook Road
Was called Cranbrook Lane and ran from the village north, past Valentines to Woodford.
245-247 Wycliffe House. Offices in church building which was for a while Ilford Playhouse. Built in 1907, by P W Dixon of Manchester in Art Nouveau Gothic with Red brick and yellow terracotta. It was originally called Christ Church Congregational, Church which had opened in an iron building in 1895. In 1906 it was joined by the members of Wycliffe Congregational church, Stepney, which had opened in 1642 and in 1907 the united congregation built the current church. Later in the 1960s the Council took a seven year lease on it calling it The Cranbrook Theatre, used exclusively by amateurs. When the Kenneth More Theatre opened The Renegades Theatre Company negotiated a lease and renamed the Ilford Playhouse. They left in 1984.
Telephone exchange. Site of an 18th school – Ilford House. Academy 1824. The exchange is a large building on a very prominent site.
Rossmore hotel
Britannia Works - Ilford Ltd., The firm of Ilford Ltd., photographic materials, was founded in 1879 by Alfred H. Harman, a photographer of Peckham who was experimenting with the production of the gelatino-bromide 'dry' plates. He went to Ilford to manufacture these plates because it was then a small country town with clean air. 'Langsett', a house in Cranbrook Road, on the corner with Park Avenue.  This was renamed 'Britannia Works', and there Harman and his wife began to produce the Britannia (later Ilford) Plate. Later he rented cottages on the Clyde estate, where the Ilford Plate factory and head office were later located, and there the plates were coated and packed, the emulsion still being prepared with great secrecy at the Britannia Works.

Holcombe Road
Holcombe was the family name of residents in Valentines House. They had factories in New Cross, Greenwich and elsewhere.

Park Avenue
St Clement, built 1889p 1896 on land given by Mrs. Clement Ingleby of Valentines by the Cutts Brothers.. In 1902 it became the principal parish church in Ilford. It was a large red-brick building. Demolished 1977 and flats were built on the site.
Kings Church. The former church hall of St. Clements by C.J. Dawson, 1907. Built as Cecil Hall and vaguely Arts and Crafts.
Banks Hotel
Park School for Girls. Private school

Valentines Park
Valentines Estate. This large estate was built up in the 18th around two tenements, and named after local family. One tenement included a house on the site of the present mansion. The other was larger and included Valentines, later Middlefield, Farm. In 1797 the estate was split up and Valentines House and land, was sold and in 1838 was owned by Charles Holcombe succeeded by his niece Sarah, wife of Clement Ingleby. She sold it to Ilford U.D.C. as a public park in 1899. Her son, Holcombe Ingleby, gave the council the American Gardens and in 1907 the council bought the rest of including the house.
Valentines Park. Opened in 1899 as Central Park by Ilford Borough. Victorian Informal tree planting remains floes to the house. The public park itself retains a late Victorian municipal character designed by Herbert Shaw, Borough Surveyor, including turning an existing lake into a boating pond, fed by the Cranbrook.
Valentines House. There was an earlier house here and the present house is thought to date from 1696-7 built by Elizabeth Tillotson, widow of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Subsequent owners made changes. It was originally built in yellow stock brick and in the 19th the side of the house probably became the entrance and a semicircular porch was built and a herringbone pattern brick floor laid. There are rainwater heads dated 1796. There have been many changes and interpretation is difficult. After 1907 it was used for various clubs, and, during the First World War housed Belgian refugees. From 1925 it was the Council's public health offices. The exterior was restored by Griffiths Architects in 2002 and there has been more restoration work since.
Walled garden. This is a small, walled flower garden, quartered by box arched openings at each corner.
Clock Tower - octagonal, donated by W.P. Griggs, the developer of Cranbrook Hall and the clock came from his stables. There were also once two rustic shelters
Boathouse and Bandstand: this is an open octagonal platform with iron railings. Identical railings surrounded the 1959 refreshment pavilion and they have a Festival of Britain feel.
Drinking Fountain of polished granite.
Lido. Opened 1924 built in an old gravel pit and designed by H Shaw. It closed in 1994 and was demolished in 1995
Ilford cricket club
Vine. In an 18th hothouse. A cutting from this vine went to the one at Hampton Court. The house was noted for its huge and prolific Black Hamburgh vine, planted by Charles Raymond in 1758. The former position of this is noted by a tablet.
Gate Piers. Early c18 at the entrance to the park.
Sundial in the forecourt.
Canal – this is fed from by a reservoir which once poured its water through a scenic cascade of arches, all in brick and rockwork. A second cascade feeds the canal at its end into an ornamental lake in the informal parkland.
Grotto. On the side of the canal is a grotto with Gothic gables over each bay. The central recess is skewed to appear correct when seen from the avenue, on the other side of the canal. ,
Grotto shelter.
Dovecote. Two-storey octagonal in stock brick
Bishop's Walk. The walk may have been named from early 18th Thomas Ken Bishop of Bath and Wells, who stayed here

The Drive

5 hone of developer Key

7 home of developer Griggs

9 home of Rev Charles Vine, long-time minister of the Ilford Congregational Church at which Griggs worshipped


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