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John Constable, Dedham Vale
Then and Now

Langham, Suffolk

Location Guide

Vale of Dedham 1828

Said to be along the winding River Stour, to Dedham village and the estuary beyond, and that this view is from Gun Hill looking towards Dedham Church.

Dedham Vale  1802

was an earlier visit to the same location

Dedham Church and Vale

It is said these images are painted from Gun Hill, just east of Langham, grid reference TM040331, Multimap but if you line up on the Ordnance Survey map Gun Hill with the estuary you find Dedham Church will be on the left of the image, and you will be a little lower than the image shows, in fact the lowest of these three images 'Dedham Church and Vale' maybe from Gun Hill.

To the north west, a short distance, is Langham Church, the ground at this point is the same height at Gun Hill, and between the church and the river is a valley or dip, although you can't see it, as its covered in woodland now. You can see it on the contours on the largest scale OS map at grid ref TM035337, Multimap. This location lines up far better on the map with the river, and the position of Dedham Church. From the top of the church tower at Langham, he would have had a higher viewpoint, and be in line with this. You can see a dip running down through the woodland in the aerial photo. In Constables time this woodland would not have existed.

I think he produced these images from the top of the church tower at Langham.

Langham Hall was built in 1756, and is open to visitors by appointment, one afternoon a month, see details. The photos of it don't appear to show any major tower, it appears to be a large 2 storey brick built house with rooms in the roof as well. The church tower would therefore appear to be a better viewpoint.

Langham Church 2010

Langham Church yard looking towards Dedham - trees, trees, and more trees.

The track past Langham Church going north looses height, but comes out of the trees. I could not get a tree free view East towards Dedham at any height, but the view in the above photo is North East towards the village of Stratford St Mary, which is near Dedham and about the same distance away. This gives an idea of the angle of view and the level of wood coverage if I was able to get the view I was after.

If you experiment with Google Maps Earth view and line up Langham Church or Langham Hall with Dedham and the estuary you can get the river shapes to line up as in the top painting.

Location: John Constable, Dedham Vale, Suffolk

Grid Reference: TM034336 Ceremonial County: Suffolk

Map Link: Multimap

Aerial photo: Multimap

Getting there: Langham Church, Langham. From the A12 take the road to Dedham and go in the opposite direction. Take the first left towards Boxted Cross and then the first right takes you down the long drive to Langham Hall and Church. The church and small car park is on the right.

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Opening Times: The church was open to see inside, but not the tower when I visited.

Charges: None

Nearby Locations:
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_Dedham_Vale Topic: Comparative Photography  Last Updated: 08/2010


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