Self portrait by John Constable, pencil and black chalk heightened with white and red chalk, circa 1799-1804
Self portrait of John Constable as a young man owned by the National Portrait Gallery

Flatford lies within the Dedham Vale in Suffolk, an area of outstanding natural beauty, famous for its historical connections with John Constable RA.

Born in nearby East Bergholt, Constable spent his childhood in Suffolk where his father owned Flatford Water Mill,  East Bergholt Windmill and two sea going barges that transported goods between Mistley Wharf and London. 

On this website you can find out more about

  • the life of John Constable at Flatford as a child and young man, his parents, brothers and sisters, how he struggled as an artist, how he fell in love with a lawyer’s daughter, his large family and the tragic death of his young wife. 
  • the fascinating buildings and installations including Flatford Mill, Willy Lott’s House, Valley Farm, Haybarn Cottage, the Granary and Flatford Bridge and Flatford Lock.

For more information about the life of John Constable’s life please click John Constable

The landscapes Constable painted are much the same today as they were then, unspoiled and beautifully maintained by a variety of organisations including the National Trust, River Stour Trust, the Field Studies Council, RSPB, Dedham Vale and Stour Valley Project and the Environment Agency. To find out more about the work of these organisations in protecting the Constable landscape please click Flatford Organisations

Constable’s most famous landscape is The Haywain (owned by the National Gallery) which depicts horses and a vehicle crossing the mill pond at Flatford Mill with Willy Lott’s House in full view.

For more information on the self portrait of John Constable please click on the following link to the National Portrait Galler