Valentines Mansion, Ilford
Valentines Mansion was built in around 1696 for Elizabeth Tillotson and her family after the death of her husband, the Archbishop of Canterbury. At that time, the new brick house stood in open countryside, several miles from the edge of London. City merchant and banker Robert Surman bought the estate in the 1720s and created the walled gardens, dovecote and grottoes. In the 1760s, Sir Charles Raymond spent part of his fortune renovating Valentines, giving the house its Georgian appearance.
The mansion was subject to a major refurbishment after standing empty and unused for more than 25 years. It is now looked after by Redbridge Council and open to members of the public for a range of events throughout the year or available to hire for corporate events, weddings, photo and film shoots.
Humphries Weaving was asked to weave pure silk in crimson for the figured bed drapes on a reconstructed early 18th century bed, now installed on the public tour. The colour used was copied from the Petworth Bed (National Trust) and the design can also be seen at Holkham Hall, Norfolk, the V&A Textile Collection. There is another version of the same design in the Warner Textile Archive.
Project reference: 2097