The Mansion Through Young Artists Eyes

The 10th year of opening celebrations continue at Valentines Mansion with an exhibition which will showcase the talent of a group of young artists, some as young as 6 years of age. The four day exhibition, ‘The Mansion Through Young Artists Eyes’ features a variety of work by members of a local club, ‘ARTYGalina’.

Returning to the Mansion for their 2nd exhibition, the group, which has been nurtured by their very gifted teacher Galina Rafilailova, have produced an exceptional collection of art inspired by the Mansion and its gardens.

What started as a craft activity for her young daughter and a friend, ARTYGalina has grown over the last 7 years to become a regular art club for ages 6-19 years of age, preparing the children who wish to then continue their love of the subject at university. “It all started with 2 children and after a few weeks the group expanded to 10 pupils and that is how the club was formed”. ARTYGalina, who meet twice a week, now has in excess of 30 pupils.

Over the summer holidays, the children started work on their individual pieces, responding to the brief that their work should be inspired by the Mansion and Gardens. What they have produced is an outstanding collection of different art mediums, including lino-cut, felted wool pictures, paintings, drawings and other crafts, all relating to Valentines.

Valentines Mansion by Eleonora, aged 12y

“I am looking forward the exhibition. I am thankful for the opportunity, and proud to be showing the amazing works of these young people united by an idea filled with light and beauty. The children are absolutely excited and delighted to be a part of this event.” commented Galina.

‘The Mansion Through Young Artists Eyes’ will take place between Sunday 20 and Wednesday 23 October in the Mansion’s Gallery, between 10.30am-4pm, with free entry.

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Try your hand at textile printing

Artlab are back this Autumn with a series of creative workshops for adults. Next on the list is the chance to try block printing – the ancient technique used for printing images and text on to fabrics.

Artlab is a collaboration between two of the Valentines Mansion studio artists, Sadia Ur-Rehman and Amanda Seljubac, who joined forces in celebration of Valentines Mansion’s 10th anniversary, offering the public a chance to try their hand at a number of traditional crafts. Since the beginning of the year, they’ve held classes at Valentines Mansion in lino printing, tapestry, hand applique and mosaic making, to name but a few.

In this next class, participants will get the chance to create a truly bespoke block printed tote bag. Under the expert guidance of our two artists, participants will be shown how to carve their own unique design on to blocks of lino using specialist tools, before printing their designs on to their bags using a fine selection of fabric paints.

“Sadia and I decided that 10 years of the Mansion being open to the public was cause for celebration and came up with the idea of combining our creative skills and offering 10 classes, to mark the 10 years, in traditional crafts. While I was a fashion student, I spent a lot of time exploring textiles and printing, so have a wealth of knowledge in this area. After this class, participants will have learnt a new skill for life and could continue this practice back at home with confidence” comments Amanda.

The class will take place on Wednesday 11 September at 11am and is priced at just £45 per person, including 3 hours of expert tuition, all materials, as well as refreshments. Bookings can be made via

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Young Photographer of the Year returns to Valentines Mansion

In 2016, the Natural History Museum of London ran its annual Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and the winner was none other than a local resident of Redbridge. Just 16 years of age at the time, Gideon Knight triumphed over thousands of international entrants and was awarded this highly prestigious award, often referred to as the ‘Oscars of wildlife photography’.

Throughout September, Gideon Knight will be returning to Valentines Mansion with another very special exhibition, featuring not only the winning image, but a selection of Gideon’s favourite images of wildlife, all taken in our very own Valentines Park.

The stunning photographs have captured the wildlife that can be found in Redbridge, and highlights the colours, behaviour and weather of each of the year’s seasons. From the flowers of the spring, the new born animals of summer and rich russets of autumn to the bleakness of winter. The images will take you through a year in the life of the animals that call the borough their home.

Autumns Russet by Gideon Knight

A red fox vixen rests among a fall of autumn leaves. The warm oranges and reds of the leaves blend with the fox’s rich coat.

Gideon first exhibited at Valentines Mansion in 2017 with ‘The Wildlife of Valentines’ and will be returning with a new set of images, as well as the strikingly beautiful photograph, The Moon and the Crow, which won him the Natural History Museum award.

Gideon commented “I am really honoured to be exhibiting once again at Valentines Mansion with a selection of new images of local wildlife. This exhibition aims not just to show the beauty of wildlife that can be found in Redbridge but to also celebrate the natural beauty and colours of the four seasons”.

The exhibition, ‘The Four Seasons of Redbridge’ will be open every Sunday & Tuesday between the 1 and 29 September, 11am-4pm, with free entry. Prints of the stunning photographs will be available to buy at the Mansion.

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Master the art of floristry at Valentines Mansion

Get creative in the new floral masterclass at Valentines Mansion. Led by a qualified florist, not only will this class be great fun, but also the chance to learn a skill for life.

Paying tribute to the colourful history of the Mansion, the class will take you back in time and recreate a traditional table arrangement, typical of what would have been used to decorate Valentines during the Victorian and Georgian eras. During the time of Sir Charles Raymond, as well as the Holcombe’s and Ingleby’s, the Mansion would have been adorned with such arrangements, using flowers freshly picked from the Valentines Gardens.

With all materials supplied, including a stylish ceramic planter, all you need to bring is yourself. Fresh flowers in seasonal colours will be used to create your masterpiece, and our expert tutor will equip you with lots of tips and techniques to get the most from your blooms – guidance we’re sure will come in handy when you practice your new skill back at home. Flower arrangements make wonderful gifts, which you’ll be able to make yourself after this workshop!

The ‘English Cottage Garden Floral Masterclass’ will take place on Friday 23 August at 7pm to 8.30pm, and tickets are now on sale for just £45, which includes all materials, as well as refreshments. Pre-booking is essential via

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It’s Party Time at Valentines Mansion!

Valentines Mansion turned 10 this year and the celebrations continue this summer with a big party for little visitors. With all the things that make a fantastic children’s party, this not-to-be-missed event promises to be a great day out for all.

Taking place on Thursday 22 August, children can look forward to a day of party games, including the all-time favourites, pass the parcel and musical chairs. There will be arts and crafts including a big birthday cake which needs decorating with lots of candles. Also, no celebration would be complete without a birthday card – children can get busy and creative making their special one for the Mansion.

The Mansion’s birthday is the perfect excuse to get glammed up – face painters will be available throughout the day with lots of designs perfect for boys and girls to choose from.

No party would be complete without a good old sing-along! Visit the Gallery and join in with party songs and perhaps even a little wiggle!

Guests are in for a treat with the main event – Mr Kinder, a fantastic children’s entertainer will be at the Mansion entertaining guests with some very special magic shows that are sure to WOW both the children and parents.

And that’s not all! Children will also enjoy badge and mask making, as well as joining in with fun trails around the house and gardens (with prizes at the end!).

Tickets are now on sale for ‘Birthday Fun’ via the ticket office at £8 per child, the event is suitable for 5 years plus and will take place on Thursday 22 August between 11am-4pm. Pre-booking essential although there may be a small number of tickets available at the door, please call 020 8708 8100 for further details.

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An Artistic Tribute to Ten Years

Valentines Mansion will come alive during the summer with celebratory art, made by some of the most talented artists in the borough. In celebration of the grade II* building having been open to the public for 10 years, the Mansions’ studio artists have each created a piece in their specific medium to mark this special milestone.

From Sunday 4 August, visitors will enjoy browsing ceramics, paintings, lino prints, willow weaving, wood engravings and more, all created in the artists’ studios on the top floor of the Mansion. Through their individual approaches and interests they have reflected on the past ten years, with unique creations in their individual style.

One piece already on display brings together the house and gardens in a truly innovative way. Jason Rose’s organic painting of a secretary bird, made using leaves, flowers, feathers and twigs, pays homage to one of the Mansion’s previous residents, Sir Charles Raymond, who is thought to have adorned the Mansion with exotic imports from the East during his time with the East India Company. A secretary bird, native to Africa, is thought to have roamed the Mansion grounds during the mid-17th century. “I felt this exotic bird would be an ideal subject for my piece – fusing the Mansion of today with the Mansion of yesterday” commented Jason.

Visitors will have to get up close to admire the beauty of some of Julian Walker’s work. His miniature pieces measuring just 9cm by 7cm, have been skillfully engraved with images of Valentines Mansion. “Wood-engraving is a printing method that uses the end grain of hardwood as the printing surface. Allowing fine details and white-line drawing, the technique has been widely used in book illustration. These images were cut on boxwood slices” comments Julian.Artist Lisa Atkin’s work is centred around the strange and ghostly goings on recorded on a “Frank’s Box”, a device used to supposedly communicate with the dead, during an evening of paranormal investigations at the Mansion. A group of ghost hunters set up a specially made device in Lisa’s studio and tuned in to communications from the other side. “The results were alarming indeed!” says Lisa. Her second installation combines her love of willow weaving with this paranormal activity – an impressive woven Ghost Catcher will hang in the Victorian Kitchen for the duration of August.

Other works include a three-part ceramic vase by artist Cinzia Castellano, made specifically to hold a cutting of the Hampton Court Vine, which is already on display at the Mansion, as well as framed lino prints depicting the Mansion’s last resident, Sarah Ingelby, by artist Sadia Ur-Rehman.

The other artists taking part are Louise Moore and Amanda Seljubac.

The studio artists exhibition ‘Decade’ will take place every Sunday to Wednesday between 4th and 28th August, 11am-4pm, with free entry.

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Schools almost out and the fun’s about to start at Valentines Mansion

Don’t worry about having to keep the kids entertained during the school holidays, bring them over to Valentines Mansion & Gardens! We’ll be open an extra two days each week during August, meaning even more fun days out at the Mansion. And we’ve got lots of activities planned to keep the little ones entertained:

Let the kids get crafty using a variety of craft materials, including twigs from the Valentines gardens to create their own Jolly Jellyfish & Crazy Crabs. Wednesday 31 July, 11.30am-12.30pm, 5yrs+, £5 per child.

Enjoy watching the children getting hands-on and learning to weave! Using cardboard looms and colourful yarn, children will make a lovely keepsake to take home. Wonderful Weaves, Wednesday 7 August, 11.30am-12.30pm, 5yrs+, £5

If you’re looking to keep the kids energised during the holidays, this next event is perfect! Let them get their groove on in our fun and energetic Bollywood dance classes led by D-Style Dance. Monday 12 August, 11am-11.45am (4-7 year olds) and 12pm-1pm (8 years plus) 4yrs+, £6 (4-7 year olds), £8 (8 years plus).

Another chance to get crafty with ‘Cats & Dogs’ during mid-August. In this workshop, kids will be taught to make their very own cardboard cats and dogs and decorate them using a variety of craft materials. Wednesday 14 August, 11.30am-12.30pm, 5yrs+, £5

In our next workshop, we’ll practice the intricate art of origami to make cool caterpillars and lovely ladybirds – the kids will love showing these off to friends and family back at home! Origami Insects, Wednesday 21 August, 11.30am-12.30pm, 5yrs+, £5

End the holidays feeling sky high in our final activity! Participants will enjoy getting crafty and creating hot air balloons hanging from a happy cloud. Flying High, Wednesday 28 August, 11.30am-12.30pm, 5yrs+, £5

As well as these activities, a visit to Valentines is always so much fun. Have fun getting dressed up in Victorian and Georgian costumes as you step back in time and explore the Mansion and spot the portraits of the previous owner. Pick up a free visitor guide from Reception – we’ve picked out all the highlights and this fantastic leaflet also includes child-friendly questions and activities. The gardens are always lovely to stroll through. With the kitchen garden packed full of fruits, vegetables and herbs to spot, as well as the long water to take a picnic by, and the Gardener’s Cottage Café to pick up an ice cream from, a day out at Valentines is always so much fun!

School holiday opening times:

Every Sunday – Wednesday (from Sunday 29 July – Wednesday 28 August), 11am-4pm, Free entry.

All school holiday activities must be pre-booked. Visit for full details.

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Valentines Mansion – Celebrating a Decade

Ten years have passed since Valentine’s Mansion opened its doors to the public for the very first time. Since that Valentine’s Day in 2009 when thousands of visitors queued excitedly for their first glimpse of the newly restored building, the public’s’ love for the Mansion has grown and grown.

We’ve had some fantastic moments over the last decade, from brilliant exhibitions and events, to beautiful weddings and celebrations, and lots of high profile activities that shot Valentines into the limelight – The Great British Bake Off, Her Majesty The Queens Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay – no name but a few.

To mark this important anniversary, we’re taking a trip down memory lane and asking you to share your fondest memories of Valentines Mansion from the last ten years. So cast your mind back – perhaps you took part in a creative workshop, enjoyed a family outing, or did you get married at the Mansion? Whatever it is, we’d love to hear from you. Send us your memories and help us create a special display for visitors to enjoy over the summer. If you don’t have photos of your visit to Valentines, write us a quote, a limerick, send us a sketch of your memory – whatever you fancy!

We’ll start you off with a few, these are some of our best bits from the last decade….

Opening Day - Saturday 14 February 2009

Opening Day – Saturday 14 February 2009

Crowds gather for Her Majesty The Queen, 2012

Crowds gather for Her Majesty The Queen, 2012

Her Majesty The Queen visits Valentines Mansion as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012

Her Majesty The Queen visits Valentines Mansion as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012

The Olympic Torch is carried past Valentines Mansion

The Olympic Torch is carried past Valentines Mansion

Recognise this - The Great British Bake Off at Valentines Mansion

Recognise this? The Great British Bake Off at Valentines Mansion

There are lots of ways you can get involved.  Share your memories on our social media pages:

Alternatively, you can email

We look forward to hearing from you! This display can be seen at Valentines Mansion every Sunday – Wednesday during august, 11am-4pm, free entry.

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Feathers and Petals Create Exhibition Masterpiece

This summer, in the year which marks ten years since the restoration of Valentines Mansion, our studio artists will be coming together for a special exhibition which opens at the beginning of August. For “Decade”, each of the artists will showcase a piece in their individual specialisms, be it painting, ceramics or fused glass or other.

Jason Rose, a painter, has created something completely unique which celebrates the history of Valentines Mansion in an innovative and interesting way. Using natural materials found in the Mansion’s gardens, such as petals, twigs, blossoms and feathers, he has created an organic painting made entirely of gifts offered by Valentines Gardens. And what makes this creation all the more special is the subject matter of the artwork.

A secretary bird is the chosen concept for Jason’s exhibit, for this his snake-eating exotic creature, native to Africa, once roamed Valentines Gardens. During the in the mid-17th century, when Sir Charles Raymond resided at Valentines, it is though the retired East India Company ship’s captain adorned the Mansion and it’s gardens with imports from the East, one of which included this impressive bird of prey.
“I felt this exotic bird would be an ideal subject for my piece – fusing the Mansion of today with the Mansion of yesterday.

It was no easy task creating this masterpiece and took over two months from start to finish, from originally collecting the materials from the gardens to adding the finishing touches. But it was a process Jason enjoyed thoroughly.

Picking feathers from Valentines Gardens

Picking organic material from Valentines Gardens

“It was lovely to be out in the beautiful Mansion gardens collecting material. It was a satisfying process – separating all the materials into different tones and seeing the image come alive. I love the idea of a changing organic image – some of the flowers such as the dandelions have been pressed to keep their colour. Other flowers and elements will change colour.”

Work in progress

The artwork will be on display in the Mansion’s Gallery as part of the Studio Artists Exhibition “Decade”, every Sunday to Wednesday between the 4th & 28th August, free entry.

For more information, visit

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Traditional Crafts Make A Comeback to Valentines Mansion

As Valentines Mansion celebrates 10 years of being open to the public, two of the resident studio artists have come together to offer a unique selection of creative workshops to the public.

For the first time, artists Sadia Ur-Rehman and Amanda Seljubac have joined forces to create Artlab, a collaboration bringing their creative skills and expertise to a series of workshops throughout the year, each giving participants the chance to try their hand at a variety of traditional crafts.

Several of the workshops have already taken place, including soapstone carving, mosaic making and lino printmaking – and they’ve been hugely popular.

Participants are enjoying the chance to have a go at these traditional handicrafts; many of them have been forgotten. But thankfully, they’re making a comeback and it’s fashionable now to weave and get involved in a bit of block printing” commented Amanda.

Soapstone Carving

Soapstone Carving

Lino Print Making

Mosaic Making

And where better to have a go than in the historic Valentines Mansion, where many of these crafts would have been practiced by former residents many years ago?

Still to come in the series of workshops is:

Tapestry Weaving, Wednesday 12 June. Participants will learn how to set up and warp their loom, create a fringe for their unique wall hanging and start weaving.

Hand Applique, Wednesday 10 July. Discover the art of applique – a versatile sewing technique using layers of fabric.

Tea Cup Painting & Make Your Own Tea, Wednesday 14 August. Design and paint your very own tea cup and saucer in this unique workshop. During the session you will also make your own tea bags using loose leaf tea and a variety of spices.

Block Printing, Wednesday 11 September. Create your own custom-printed tote bag. You’ll not only learn how to block print, but also how to carve designs on to printing blocks, giving you a totally unique and personal creation.

Mark Making with Natural Tools, Wednesday 16 October. A unique workshop exploring a series of easy and exciting ways to create imagery and pattern using natural and unusual tools.

Punch Needle Embroidery, Wednesday 13 November. A modern take on the ancient craft of rug hooking, you will create your own piece of wall art after practising the skill of punch needle embroidery.

Christmas Printmaking, Wednesday 11 December. Using the traditional method of lino printing you will learn how to design and create your very own cards, gift tags and wrapping paper in this festive workshop.

Sadia commented “What’s great about these workshops is that participants will go away having learnt a skill for life, which is invaluable.”

The classes are each priced at £45 per person and all take between 11am-2pm.
All materials for each 3 hour workshop are provided, plus refreshments.

For full details and tickets, visit

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