300-year-old pantry unearthed

A PANTRY nearly 300 years old has been discovered during the �7.5million Valence House revamp. The 18th century timber partition, seen as a historical gem , will become a permanent feature of the Barking and Dagenham museum and archives in Becontree Aven

A PANTRY nearly 300 years old has been discovered during the �7.5million Valence House revamp.

The 18th century timber partition, seen as a "historical gem", will become a permanent feature of the Barking and Dagenham museum and archives in Becontree Avenue, Dagenham, due to reopen in spring 2010.

Expert Emma Dwyer, of Museum of London Archeology, said: "The wall looks as if it formed one side of a cupboard, possibly a pantry or larder.

"The small window opening in the wall would have provided some ventilation, and food from the surrounding farmland would have been kept there."

Barking and Dagenham heritage executive Cllr Bob Little said: "We can't believe such a fantastic feature has been found.

"We were hoping that some small things might have been found under the floorboards but never dreamed of a whole wall."

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Valence House is being given new exhibition spaces to retrace the borough's history, a new visitor centre, caf�, a larger local studies library and a new archives store.