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John Constable, Stour Valley and Dedham Church, Then and Now

near Flatford, Suffolk

Location Guide

This view is looking south, south east and if you look at one of the aerial photos on the mapping sites you will see the river shape to the left of the painting, and the church in Dedham. The line of hedging just over the cart runs down and joins another line of trees at an angle going left, the first section is a field boundary and the second the sides of the lane that runs down to the river. There is a footpath that runs through the field to the south of the road. My photographs were taken from a gateway on the side of the road.

I think he was in the field to the south of the road, and markings on the ground do appear to show shaping of the ground from the past, the other possibility is that he is in the field on the other side to the north of the road that hedge running behind the cart is the road, either would work.

Today we have far more trees and the whole area is more overgrown than in his time when wood was used in building, for heating and was a crop.

He appears to be higher than the cart and people, perhaps on top of another mound like the one they are digging from, but taller as we are looking down on this mound. There could have been some structure there that does not exist toady, but we have no way of telling.

I think there is still some artistic licence in that you cannot get a high enough position to get the valley to lay out so far in front of you, while having a wide view without being a long way off the ground. In practice from this position you get a ribbon effect. He could not be far off this position, however I think from the other near items he is more like 15 to 20 feet off the ground so perhaps on a hayrick.

I must do some research at some point to make sure there was not once a windmill up on this hill, as a large windmill might have got you higher, and he might be a little further back than I am expecting, and this could work.

The church can be seen right in centre on this image, its not wide enough to present the same view.

The church is now left of centre and you can see the hedges left.

This is a zoomed in closer view of the church, but there are a lot more trees now.

I do have some zoomed in shots of small glimpses of the river , but I won't present them here as they are just trees with a bit of water showing through. You actually need to look at the aerial photos and maps to see that this is the same location.

Location: Stour Valley and Dedham Church, nr Flatford, Suffolk

Grid Reference: TM071340 Ceremonial County: Suffolk

Map Link: Multimap  Google

Aerial photo: Multimap   Google

Getting there: This is taken from Flatford Road, only 50 yards north west, at most, from the location of the The Cornfield.

Access: Gateway from road
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Nearby Locations: Flatford Mill    The Cornfield
Other Location Pages: Then and Now Locations     John Constable Painting Locations     John Constables Painting Locations Then and Now   Flatford Mill
Other Relevant Pages: Then and Now Photography








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By: Keith Park  Section: Photography Section Key:
Page Ref: Constable_Stour_Valley_church Topic: Comparative Photography  Last Updated: 08/2010


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