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Valence House history uncovered

PUBLISHED: 14:51 31 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:49 11 August 2010

Visitor centre manager Emma Dummer and Cllr Bob Little

Visitor centre manager Emma Dummer and Cllr Bob Little

BUILDERS working to redevelop Valence House museum have unearthed a little piece of the building s history – an 18th Century pantry. It was discovered during the renovation work behind layers of modern plaster and is thought to be around 300 years old. Ar

BUILDERS working to redevelop Valence House museum have unearthed a little piece of the building's history - an 18th Century pantry.

It was discovered during the renovation work behind layers of modern plaster and is thought to be around 300 years old.

Archaeologist, Emma Dwyer, from the Museum of London Archaeology came to inspect and assess the fascinating find.

Ms Dwyer said: "The timber partition wall was probably built in the 18th century.

"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 ventilation and food from the surrounding farmland would have been kept there."

The pantry wall dates from when the Merttins family lived at Valence House in the 1700s, during which time they made many extensions and improvements.

As part of the Historical Features trail, available to the public when the museum reopens, the pantry wall will be left exposed for visitors to see.

The project to transform Valence House is well underway and has received more than £2million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

In total the refurbishment will cost £7.5million and includes a visitors' centre, new exhibitions, larger library and archives, disabled access and part of the original moat will be restored.

Building work on the visitors' centre and moat is set to begin this summer and it is hoped that the entire project will be completed by 2010.


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