Dedham: an Appreciation

Dedham is a lovely village, right on the border of Essex and Suffolk. I hate to use the phrase “quintessentially English,” because many places across England can be called that for many different reasons, but it certainly is one view of a very beautiful country – you can almost picture Miss Marple trotting down the High Street in the process of solving a crime. If you have the chance to visit, do take it, you’ll have a lovely time, and like us will find yourself returning time and time again.

We’ve visited many many times over the years, for walks, a Roman River Festival concert in the parish church, films in the Assembly Rooms with Dedham Films, meals in The Sun Inn pub, Heritage Open Days, and just to admire the scenery. It’s also a great place to cycle through and it is on one of our circular cycle routes from Colchester.

We’ve been in the middle of summer when there are lots of visitors, and in the quieter winter months. I’ve also taken lots of coach parties to the village as part of Constable Country coach trips, and all the passengers love their time in the area. They love the gentleness of the countryside and it’s lushness, and the connections to the artist John Constable.

So this is just an appreciation of the village, with some pictures (below) that were taken on a very hot day in July in 2016, when it seemed almost too perfect.

St. Mary’s the parish church is beautiful, and I always feel when I’m visiting that it has a green tinge to the light, which is different to other churches, where the light always seems to be red to me.

I love the view across the River Stour and the fields to Flatford. It’s a lovely walk to Flatford and back – and the first bit as you leave Dedham (and Essex) will see people paddling and exercising their dogs in the river – it’s a bit like a Constable painting…

haywain

Behind the church is the cricket pitch, and you can walk down the lane beside the pitch, past some lovely almshouses, and make your way to Munnings Art Museum in the former home of the artist Alfred Munnings. It’s a very attractive house, with lots of Munnings artwork on display, and a lovely tearoom in the garden.

And if you want a guided tour of Dedham, you know who to ask.