A programme of art, culture and new infrastructure to reimagine the future of the UK’s biggest council housing estate


Barking & Dagenham Archives and Local Studies Centre

Building Becontree

Valence House Museum and Online

Building Becontree was an 18-month project funded by the Wellcome Trust that catalogued the full range of historic records held at Valence House relating to the history of the Becontree Estate. These include maps, building plans, tenants’ handbooks, photographs, disease registers, films, rent books, and community publications. All the material will be available for research either in person at the archive centre or on this website. These resources will be essential in furthering research into what was at the time one of the country’s largest experiments in public health and improving our understanding of the requirements of public housing.

A series of public workshops both online and in-person collected the thoughts and memories of Becontree residents past and present, using material from the archive to stir people’s memories and get conversations flowing.

Valence House Museum
Becontree Ave

Open in Maps

The archive and local studies centre at Valence House actively collects and conserves records relating to the history of Barking and Dagenham and makes them available for research in the public reading room. The records of the Becontree Estate are one of the most popular resources held at the archive and local studies centre but are just one part of the wider history of the whole area.