Archaelogical dig and repair works under way at historic Valence House moat
- Credit: Archant
An archaeological dig is taking place at the medieval moat at Valence House, as part of the first stage of wider plans for the area.
The historic moat in Valence Park, also known as the fishing lake, is thought to have been dug as long ago as the 1200s.
Since it was closed due to health and safety concerns and serious erosion, the council has been developing plans for bank restoration works to protect the sensitive site, as well as wider work to improve access to the museum, archives and moated enclosure iin Becontree Avenue, Dagenham.
The unique heritage asset is one of the few remaining moats in London to still have water in it.
Temporary repairs are under way before permanent works go on site during next summer and autumn.
You may also want to watch:
Public consultation on the wider plans for Valence House and the park will take place early next year.
In the meantime, the council is undertaking in-depth research into the history of the site, including its ancient trees, the historic mud silts and the tenants of the farmed estate.
- 1 Appeal for help as girl, 17, reported missing from Dagenham
- 2 Three men found stabbed after alleged brawl in Dagenham
- 3 Exhibition launches to celebrate 100 years of Becontree Estate
- 4 Woman brightens up Barking and Dagenham with colourful crochet creations
- 5 'Strong, united community' hailed as plans for hotel in Barking withdrawn
- 6 Bobby Moore's daughter visits Upney buildings to be named after footballers
- 7 Woman organises do after Covid-19 restrictions force school in Dagenham to cancel prom
- 8 Consultation launched on extension of public space order, including alcohol drinking ban
- 9 Matt Robinson set to agree new deal with Dagenham & Redbridge
- 10 Watch out for these disruptions to your journey by road and rail this week
Archaeologists from Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA), in collaboration with Ground Engineering, are on site to undertake surveys.
MOLA project manager Marit Leenstra said: “It is wonderful to have the opportunity to investigate the Valence House medieval moat and put it back into its historical context.
“The site is a great asset to the community and I hope that the work we are doing will allow the public to become even more engaged with this fascinating piece of local history.”
A geoarchaeological transect survey and a test pit along the northern arm will help determine the original depth and width of the moat - and perhaps reveal secrets hidden in the silts or mud.
If found, historic silts and other organic material can be used to create a timeline of activity about how the shape of the water body changed over time.
They can also provide information about the plants that were grown on site and the food that was eaten by the tenants of the house.
The water enclosure is expected to partially reopen in a few months and be fully accessible by the end of next year.
Regular updates on the archaeological work will be posted on the Valence House social media pages.