|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON
Emerson Road, Ilford, Essex IG1 4XA
At the beginning of WW1 Valentines Mansion, a large country house built in 1696 and owned by Ilford Borough Council, was used as accommodation for Belgian refugees.
In May 1915 it became an auxiliary hospital for Colchester Military Hospital, together with the Ilford Emergency Hospital, providing 119 beds between them for sick and wounded servicemen.
The Mansion ceased to be an auxiliary military hospital in March 1919.
Present status (April 2011)
After the war, Ilford Borough Council bought the remainder of the land (which had been used for farming) and created a public park - Valentines Park.
In 1925 its Public Health Department took over the mansion house on a 'temporary' basis which, in the event, proved to be some 40 years.
In 1964 the mansion became the property of the London Borough of Redbridge, who used it as offices for their Housing Department until 1993.
The Grade II* listed building was restored in 2007 and is now a venue for community activities, such as exhibitions, talks and tours.
The main entrance to the house was originally on the south side, but it was moved to the north side in the 1810s and a port cochere added. Originally built with six columns, the porte cochere was later extended at either end.
The southern elevation.
The eastern elevation.
Various brass plaques in the History Room commemorate events to do with the house.
The plaque on the left mentions the house being used to house Belgian refugees, but not its use as an auxiliary military hospital.
The entrance gates to Valentines Park (above) and a map of the Park (below). The mansion house is located towards the northwest corner of the Park.
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