The Styrcea family is one of the ancient Romanian noble families whose line can be traced directly back to the 14th century. The family acquired the manor house and estate of Văleni when it was brought into the family by Ecaterina Stârcea Valeanca on her marriage to Ioan (Iancu) Stârcea in 1836. Ecaterina (Catinca) was a philanthropist who in 1878 built the bell tower, village school and other buildings (including the Town Hall) and who is held in esteem to this day. The estate originally extended to some 3,600 hectares (8,700 acres) with boundaries close to that of modern day comuna Văleni. It was passed down the family line until confiscation by the communist regime in 1948 when the building was converted into the village school. In 2007, Romania joined the EU. One of the joining conditions was that expropriated property could be restituted to its former owners. After a long and complex legal process, the manor house, forest and some agricultural land was restored to the family in 2010. Since then, the current owner, Michael de Styrcea, has embarked on a process of restoring and renovating the buildings, park and forest to their former glory. It is a work in progress.