Dedham Boathouse sits on the River Stour’s border between Suffolk and Essex within a designated area of outstanding natural beauty that is frequently referred to as ‘Constable’s Country’. Since this is pretty much the exact spot where romantic artist John Constable would have gone messing about in boats back in the early 1800’s when he wasn’t busy painting notable pieces of art like the Hay Wain, Wivenhoe Park and of course Dedham Lock & Mill.
John Constable grew up in nearby Flatford Mill where his father worked as a corn-merchant just a mile & half downstream from the Dedham Boathouse. Constable loved his local landscape, and attributes the beauty of the surrounding area to the force of inspiration behind his artworks. These scenes, in Constable’s own words, “Made me a painter, and I am grateful”.
The beautifully converted Dedham Boathouse restaurant didn’t exist in Constable’s era – but it is a darn good job it does now. I’m completely sure he would have enjoyed their ‘a la carte menu’. And would probably have gone for their rare peppered tuna steak washed down with several glasses of merlot. Before returning to paint amazing photographic-like scenes of the beautiful Dedham Vale.
Fortunately the ebb and flow of the river Stour has little changed since the early 1800’s. Nor have the boats.
Dedham Boathouse offer 26 clinker built rowing boats available for hire during the UK summer months (Mar-Oct) for more information visit: