In 1899 the Cranbrook Estate, to the west of Valentines, was about to be sold for housing. The Municipal Borough of Ilford had acquired its first section of parkland a year previously and was keen to enlarge its size as land became available. Local officials realised that, unless an area of "relaxation and pleasure" was retained for the growing urban population, all traces of an undeveloped rural Ilford would be lost.
County Cricket was first played at Valentine's Park in Ilford in 1922 and a pavilion was completed a year later. The first ever county match with Sunday play was played here, this proved to be a success with 6000 spectators attending.