The Town of East Bergholt in Suffolk
A visitors guide to the Suffolk town of
East Bergholt, located on the Suffolk/Essex border in an area known as
Constable Country. East Berholt in the River Stour Valley sits in a
delightful and unspoiled landscape. Here you will find a place that John
Constable the artist declared that he loved every stile and stump and
every lane in the village. East Bergholt is the birth place of John
Constable and has fine houses lining its main street with a surprising
number of large elegant buildings for such a small place.
The tower of St. Mary's Church was never finished and the bells intended
for the tower were stored in a bell house in the churchyard in 1531 where
they remain to this day. Constables parents are buried in the north east
corner of the churchyard and Willy Lott's remains are close to the path
way on the south side of the church. The churchyard contains many
unusual graves and sarcophaguses.
Slightly down the road is the area known as Flatford Mill. It was here
that Constable's famous picture the Hay Wain was painted. This
area is now managed by the National Trust and includes Bridge House
which contains an exhibition about John Constable's life and times. The
mill at Flatford, that was built by his family in 1733, and John
Constable himself worked on for a year as a miller before leaving
for London to study art. During the summer months the River Stour Trust
operate river trips in an electric launch from here.
John Constable 1776-1837 is famous for his views of Flatford and the
Stour Valley, he is considered one of the greatest British landscape
artists. Unfortunately the house where John Constable was born has long
since gone, though a plaque marks the spot. The studio where he
first began his career can still be seen, located in Cemetery Lane just
to the right of the Post Office. There is a plaque that marks the
studio, today it is a private house. Constable is said to have
taken a lifetime to paint the nine miles of the River Stour.
The village has a village shop and post office, bakery and a number of
One of the most interesting ways to explore the Stour Valley is by hiring
a rowing boat from Flatford. From here you can row up steam
following the river to the next village Dedham in Essex, which is also
very picturesque. Much of the inspiration for Constable's paintings came
from walking around the countryside and there are lots of enjoyable walks
whether you want a long ramble or a short stroll. The quieter lanes are
also good for cycling.
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