The Town of East Bergholt in Suffolk

East Bergholt Suffolk Holidays

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 pubs/inns.

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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