I moved to Valence House, Dagenham from Devon in 1879. I came with my wife Helen, her mother Eliza, six children and some of our favourite servants. Valence House was a happy home for us, and we went on to have another five children whilst living here. We moved to Dagenham so that I could establish a market garden business, and Valence House was the perfect location, set as it was in the countryside, but within easy distance of the London markets. Business was so good I even became famous for introducing commercial tomato growing to the area. When I died in 1913, the last words I uttered were “I am not Thomas May”.
Landscape Character Area