The doors are open to discover Barking and Dagenham from a new perspective this September as part of the free annual Open House Festival.
The two-week celebration takes place across the capital and offers people the chance to visit and learn more about some of London’s most exciting and interesting buildings and neighbourhoods.
Across Barking and Dagenham there are a range of events taking place offering residents, and visitors to the borough, the chance to discover the hidden history of the borough as well as see the new developments in the area.
Valence House Museum, the only surviving of the five manor houses of Dagenham, will be opening its doors on Saturday 9 September between 10am and 1pm to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the historic building.
A few days later, on Thursday 14 September between 2pm and 4.30pm, and on Saturday 16 September between 10am and 12.30pm, a walking tour led by Be First, Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company, will take participants on a two-and-a-half-hour tour of Barking town centre.
The expedition will look at Barking’s fascinating history, from having the largest fishing fleet in the country through to being William the Conqueror’s base while the Tower of London was built, as well as showcasing a number of new developments in the area.
Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “The Open House Festival isn’t just for architects or designers, it’s for everyone and offers a fantastic and unique opportunity for people to discover Barking and Dagenham like never before.
“As London shifts east, we are continuing to unlock the potential of our borough by securing investment in industries and opportunities for local people – making Barking and Dagenham one of the most exciting areas in the capital."
Also taking place on Saturday 16 September, Be First will be hosting a Barking regeneration tour featuring three stops at Industria (the UK’s first stacked, industrial space), Phoenix Pocket Park in the Gascoigne neighbourhood and A House for Artists, in Barking town centre.
David Harley, Interim Director of Development, and host of the Barking Town Centre walking tour, said: “The three schemes show the wide range of regeneration projects Be First has delivered in the Borough over the last few years. Alongside delivering new homes these innovative schemes are unlocking the Borough’s growth potential. The Barking Town Centre tour will showcase the transformation underway with over 30 locations visited.”
On Sunday 17 September from 11am to 4pm visitors to the 16th century Eastbury Manor House will be able to enjoy tours, kids trails and exhibitions as part of the free festival.
Open House Festival, which started in London in 1992, takes place between 6 – 17 of September.
The event in the capital is the largest in the world giving free public access to more than 800 buildings, walks, talks and tours.
Some of the Barking and Dagenham events require pre-booking. To reserve your space and find out more about what’s taking place in borough, visit