Walk J: Langham to East Bergholt
A quintessential cottage, a hunt for a 'Summer Morning' and on to home.
Langham to East Bergholt via Stratford St. Mary
The starting point for this walk lies south-west of East Bergholt at the peaceful site of St Mary’s Church, Langham. On the south side of Dedham Vale, we will try to find the spot near Church (Glebe Farm), and the viewpoint over the hill for St Mary’s Church, which Constable combined in his composition ‘The Glebe Farm’.
Constable knew the cottage well: it had been the parish lodgings of his mentor and early patron, John Fisher (1748-1825), Rector of Langham, who later became Bishop of Salisbury. They met in 1798, and Constable became a regular visitor, painting many of his early views of Dedham from this location. In 1818 Fisher presided over Constable’s marriage to Maria Bicknell. Constable painted multiple versions of this view, adding the church behind the house to make it a memorial to his great friend and supporter.
As we head north-east towards Stratford St. Mary, we’ll see if we can find the ‘Summer Morning’ view that we’ve not yet explored. As we leave the village we’ll explore Church of Stratford Saint Mary before making our way through the fields like many farm workers before us, and think about what might be hiding beneath our feet.
Now on our home-straight, we pass Vale Farm on our way up towards East Bergholt, where we’ll turn and look back at the ‘Autumnal Sunset’ view, which looks back towards Vale Farm and on to Stratford St Mary and the sunset.
Once in East Bergholt, we walk past Constable’s studio and can try and find his childhood home.
“How Nature paints her colours: how the bee sits on the bloom extracting liquid sweets.
Paradise Lost (Book V), John Milton, 1667