Constable Country

We love to take the night ferry from Harwich to Hook van Holland when we want to visit friends on the continent. This time we took a whole day to travel to Harwich. Namely, we visited Flatford Mill, a hamlet made world famous by Constable.

Wir lieben es mit der Nachtfähre von Harwich nach Hook van Holland zu fahren, wenn wir auf dem Kontinent Freunde besuchen möchten. Dieses Mal nahmen wir uns einen ganzen Tag Zeit für die Fahrt nach Harwich. Wir besuchten nämlich Flatford Mill, ein Mini-Dorf, das durch Constable Weltruhm erlangte.

The painter John Constable grew up in Bergholt and went to nearby Flatford Mill to paint. We were amazed at how little this place has changed in the last 200 years. It was a journey back in time to the 18th century. Here at the Stour River, next to the mill, there are some thatched cottages, which offer a romantic ensemble, like out of a picture book.

Der Maler John Constable wuchs in Bergholt auf und ging zur nahe gelegenen Flatford Mühle, um dort zu malen. Uns verblüffte es, wie wenig sich dieser Ort in den letzten 200 Jahren verändert hat. Es war eine Zeitreise ins 18. Jh. Hier am Stour Fluss gibt es neben der Mühle einige reetgedeckte Cottages, die ein romantisches Ensemble bieten, wie aus einem Bilderbuch.

John Constable, who became the most famous landscape painter in England, felt that he could paint best in his immediate surroundings because he was familiar with them. Even as a boy, he constantly wandered through this area. In contrast to the view of art at the time, Constable was not concerned with fantasy and imagination, but with reproducing nature as realistically as possible. “Today photography can do even better“, Siri noted to Dina’s delight.

John Constable, der zum berühmtesten Landschaftsmaler Englands wurde, war der Ansicht, dass er am besten in seiner unmittelbaren Umgebung malen konnte, da er mit ihr vertraut war. Bereits als Junge wanderte er ständig durch diese Gegend. Im Gegensatz zur damaligen Kunstauffassung ging es Constable nicht um Fantasie und Imagination, sondern darum, die Natur so realistisch wie möglich wiederzugeben. Was heute die Fotografie noch besser kann, wie Siri zur Freude Dinas anmerkte.

His 1816 painting Flatford Mill was the largest painting he did outdoors in nature. It inspired him to paint even larger canvases in the studio. Although Constable became so famous, he sold just 20 of his paintings in his lifetime. His success was greater in France than in England. He inspired the Impressionists, among others.

Sein Gemälde Flatford Mill von 1816 war das größte Bild, das er draußen in der Natur gemalt hat. Es inspirierte ihn, im Studio noch größere Leinwände zu bemalen. Obwohl Constable so berühmt wurde, verkaufte er zu seiner Lebenszeit gerade einmal 20 seiner Bilder. Sein Erfolg war größer in Fankreich als in England. Er inspirierte u.a. die Impressionisten.

From Flatford Mill there are fine walks signposted in the footsteps of Constable. However, since it was downright summery warm, we were drawn to the pub, where we talked over drinks about how, especially in England, there are places where time seems to stand still.

Von Flatford Mill waren feine Spaziergänge auf den Spuren Constables ausgeschildert. Da es jedoch geradezu sommerlich warm war, zog es uns in den Pub, wo wir beim Drink darüber sprachen, dass es besonders in England Orte gibt, in denen die Zeit stehen geblieben scheint.

Siri and Selma especially enjoyed the sunset balloon flight over Constable country

Love from the sunny sea

Mit lieben Grüßen vom sonnigen Meer

The Fab Four of Cley
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

.

© Text and illustrations, Hanne Siebers and Klausbernd Vollmar, Cley next the Sea, 2022

127 thoughts

  1. Ich hoffe Ihr hattet ein schönes Osterfest! Sorry, dass ich jetzt erst vorbeikomme. Eine wirklich inspirierende Gegend. Da sage noch mal jemand Einöden Lol können keinen Esprit ausstrahlen. Danke für das Teilen dieser wunderbaren Eindrücke, und weiterhin alles Gute! LG Michael

    Liked by 3 people

    • Danke, lieber Michael,
      wir hatten ein schönes Osterfst. Wir kamen kurz vorher aus Deutschlnd zurück, wo wir zwei Wochen waren und sind jetzt froh, wieder zu Hause zu sein.
      Einöden halten wir für sehr inspirierend.
      Habe Dank für deinen Kommentar
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Maria,
      we had a great time visiting Constable Country. We were so lucky with the weather.
      Welcome back to Europe. You are near Paris now. The ideal place for spring, isn’t it?
      Wishing you all the best and thanks for commenting
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
      💫✨🌟✨💫

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad for you, dear Klaus! Greetings to Dina & your pretty fairies! True, near Paris. Out town is a very picturesque place 🙂
      I send you some Parisian air for inspiration!
      😊😊😊

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, dear Maria, the inspiration already arrived.
      Isn’t it inspiring to live in a picturesque place?
      With love ❤ ❤ from us all
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Steve,
      yes, we crossed over old lands from the time when England and Holland were connected. In those times we could have walked over to the continent. But we like going by boat 🙂
      Thank you very much for your link about Doggerland. Interesting!
      Keep well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  2. England is truly a fairylike country. No wonder Siri and Selma were thrilled to be treated to a balloon flight over this iconic strip of land. I especially like the late Constable.
    I’d love to meet you in the Tate later this year and I hope it will work, fingers crossed. Let’s talk next weekend.
    Kram
    Annalena x

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dear Annalena,
      Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma were really thrilled to fly in a balloon for the first time. Dina stayed on the ground for photographing.
      Constable’s pictures document very beautifully the idyllic old England.
      We are looking forward to meeting you at the Tate where we see Constable’s picture of Flatford Mill.
      We’ll talk next weekend.
      Thanks for your comment 🙏🙏
      With love ❤ ❤
      KRAM 🤗🤗
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Das ist es wirklich, liebe Uschi und lieber Herbert. Wollt ihr nicht einmal mit eurem Wohnmobil hierher kommen? Wir täten uns feuen.
      Liebe Grüße
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

    • Dear Pete,
      thank you very much 🙏🙏
      Great that you like our post. We don’t post when travelling and back home we didn’t feel like blogging for the first week. But we will be around again here.
      Love ❤ from the coast
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Those are wonderful images! I think England isn’t a real country, but rather one of those enviroments in wich railway tracks are built and little trains loop endelessly. It never changes. Nothing ever changes. At the end of the day Constable, Wordsworth and Shakespeare gather in the pub and tell each jokes that were brought to the country by Harald Bluetooth when he was there for a short holiday (at Butlins) and kinky stories (nudge nuge wink wink) told by Aulus Plautius during his invasion in 43 AD. Those stories never grow old, and later that night everybody is falling asleep with a smile on their faces. Tomorrow another day, although tomorrow doesn’t really excist. It’s always today.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Dear Peter, aaaah – your fairytale comment is picture-perfect. Your words transport us all to the evergreen romantic English countryside alongside the classic literature. What a tremendous peaceful, joyful and harmonious place to be. Why don’t we all meet at the next pub tomorrow, sorry now?

      Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Peter
      we are absolutely delighted about your GREAT comment. Indeed, it’s like this! Thank you very much 🙏🙏
      Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma met Alice in this Wonderland and the Hobbits were feasting in the next hamlet and some witches sat in the wind in the willows. Actually Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma wanted to fly like Nils Holgerson on swans but as we were not in Sweden they used the balloon as Julian Barnes describes it but with much more fun.
      We wish you a wonderful week, have fun, enjoy life
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Schön, von euch vier zu lesen.
    Ja, Constable ist schon ein interessanter Maler, wenn ich auch kein Fan der Realisten bin. Ob Fotos tatsächlich realistischer abbilden ist fragwürdig. Die Fotografin hat die Hoheit über das Motiv und den gewählten Ausschnitt. 😉
    Danke auch für den Link zur tate. Ich bin immer wieder erstaunt was auf den Museums-Internetpräsenzen seit Corona an Informationen anbieten. Den Podcast der tate kannte ich noch nicht.
    Einen schönen Tag wünscht euch aus Berlin bei strahlendem Sonnenschein ☀️ Susanne

    Liked by 3 people

    • Liebe Susanne,
      auch wir sind keine Fans der Realisten, aber im Tiefsten unseres Gemüts scheinen wir doch Romantiker zu sein, die diese Idyllen lieben – freilich mehr in der Realität als in r Kunst.
      Wir finden das auch bewundernswert, was Museen heutzutage im Netz alles bieten und nutzen es fröhlich.
      Von sonnigen Meer liebe Grüße ins sonnige Berlin
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Roberta,
      thank you very much 🙏🙏
      We really liked to discover Constable and Constable Country which is actually not so far from where we live.
      Wishing you all the best
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Fab Four of Cley,
    Hello, and hope you had a wonderful weekend.
    Tank you for introducing me to yet another talented person. I do adore landscapes and his ‘Flatford Mill’ was a pleasure to go see.
    Thank you for my latest lesson in culture.
    All the best,
    GP

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear GP
      we had a nice weekend with beautiful weather, working in the garden and had fine drinks and food – ideal it was 🙂
      These idyllic landscapes … Well, the English are very talented in preserving the romantic flair of their hamlets, villages and landscapes.
      Thank you very much for liking our post 🙏🙏
      Take care, enjoy life and have a happy time
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Liebe Karin,
      wir lieben auch solche idyllischen Orte und besuchen sie immer wieder gerne.
      Danke fürs Kommentieren.
      Liebe Grüße vom sonnigen Meer
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. What a wonderful adventure into the past. Hanne – your photography brought Flatford Mill alive. Did you take these photos in the late afternoon? There is an gentle energy that emanates from the sky and reflection of buildings on the water, the tree branches that look upwards – all come together with a peaceful tranquility. I especially appreciated that you linked to John Constable’s Flatford Mill at the Tate, which shares similar lighting to what you captured in your photography.

    I love tagging along with The Fab Four of Cley. Your generosity in sharing your travels, knowledge and wisdom inspires me and inspires all who come to your place.

    Sending many hugs from The Budd Family to our dear friends The Fab Four of Cley.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Good Morning, our dear friend Rebecca,
      very well spotted. We were at Flatford Mill in the late afternoon. Dina likes to photograph in this mellow afternoon light.
      Since we are back we had sunny and warm weather here. We are active in our garden, it’s a never-ending job and we are still busy getting Dana’s stuff sorted out.
      Thank you very much for your kind words. We love to share our travels 🙂
      With big hugs 🤗🤗 to the Budd Family. Keep well and happy
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you very much, dear Janet 🙏🙏
      We agree that thatched roofs look cosy but the upkeeping and the high insurance for a thatched building make most homeowners decide against them.
      Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Moin.
    Ich bin ja mal wieder begeistert, ein schöner Beitrag und Chapeau für die Fotografin 😉
    So ein bisschen erinnert mich das an einen Ausflug mit meiner Tochter nach Canterbury vor knapp 20 Jahren. Das was wir dort in der südenglischen Gegend erkundet haben, haben wir noch in bester Erinnerung. Leider war das unser letzter Besuch auf der Insel. Aber na ja, auch auf dem Festland gibt es schöne Flecken.
    Viele Grüße an euch!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Moin, lieber Sven,
      England hat viele solcher idyllischen Ort, die sehr gut gepflegt werden. Flatford Mill gehört dem National Trust, der besonders alte Häuser vorbildlich pflegt und erhält.
      Wir geben dir jedoch recht, auf dem Kontinent gibt es ebenfalls fein gepflegt idyllische Orte. Wir lieben bes. die mittelalterlichen Städte an der romantischen Straße.
      Vielen Dank und liebe Grüße
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mary,
      you are very welcome. Thanks for your kind comment 🙏🙏
      Flatford Mill and the Constable Country are especially romantic English countrysides. England has quite some of these idyllic places we really like.
      Wishing you all the best
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Die Freude zu reisen und die Freude wieder hier zu sein. Ihr habt gleich ein (für mich) sehr interessantes Thema mitgebracht. Alte Kulturstätten in idyllischer Umgebung. Schön. Da frage ich mich immer, warum die meisten Menschen so Sehnsucht, oder eine Art Glücklichsein empfinden beim Anblick alter verwinkelter Orte und Städte. Wie Orte im Mittelmeerraum, alte Städte in Mitteleuropa. Warum baut man dann weltweit so glatte kubistische Häuser? Meist überdimensioniert groß und hoch. Beispiel Dubai. (nebenbei bemerkt, ich empfinde die Staaten von Saudi Arabia und VEA als meine „Schurkenstaaten“) Sie verdienen nicht nur indem sie der westlichen Welt Erdöl verkaufen, so haben sie die Schlauheit Touristen aller Welt anzulocken um von denen noch einmal viele Milliarden Euro in ihre Kassen zu bekommen. Doch zu Dubai. Diese Schauen haben nicht nur die Wolkenkratzer gebaut, nein auch eine „Altstadt“ ein „Heritage Village“ in die Mitte gesetzt, wo es gar nie eine Altstadt gegeben hat. Nur für Touristen. Liebe Grüße zu euch, Ernestus.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Lieber Ernestus,
      das mit der ‘Altstadt’ von Dubai wussten wir gar nicht. Es ist ja völlig absurd.
      Es ist eine interessante Frage, warum wir heute so bauen wie wir bauen, obwohl die meisten Menschen für idyllische Orte voller Romantik schwärmen. Es hängt wohl zum Großteil mit Funktionalität zusammen.
      Übrigens wir würden NIE auf die Idee kommen, in Dubai Ferien zu machen.
      Wie wir hast du dich auch entschieden, in der Idylle zu leben. Eine Flucht in die sogenannt gute alte Zeit, die genauer betrachtet gar nicht so gut war.
      Mit lieben Grüßen vom sonnign Meer und herzlichen Dank für deinen Kommentar
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It is a lovely area. The OH and I visited in 2016 when we were in the region for a wedding. We spent a couple of hours walking in the surrounding water meadows. I’m not sure if you ever read my post about it, but I’ll link to it here in case you want to have a look. Dina’s photos are far superior of course, and there was no balloon ride with pretty fairies 🧚🏻‍♀️🧚🏻‍♀️

    Walking in an artist’s footsteps

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Jude,
      thank you VERY much for linking your post. It adds well to ours. We read it and liked it when you published it about 6 years ago.
      Well, our Bookfayries in the balloon that’s very special. They loved it and couldn’t stop talking about their adventure in the days afterwards.
      We wish you a wonderful time
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Da hast du wohl recht, es ist dort wie in einem Bilderbuch über die ‘gute alte Zeit’.
      In Flatford Mill werden die Gebäude vom National Trust erhalten, der viele alte Häuser und Landschaften vorbildlich pflegt.
      Auch hier ist es, seit wir von Deutschland zurückgekommen sind, jeden Tag sonnig und warm, fast schon wie im Sommer.
      Mit lieben Grüßen von der Küste
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks a lot, dear Ute 🙏🙏
      Time has come to a stop at Flatford Mill. That reminds us of Aldous Huxley who planned to write a novel “When Time Has Come to a Stop” but died before he could finish it.
      Even in Constable’s time, it was a ‘locus amoenus’, so much more now.
      Keep well and happy
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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  13. Despite all the beautifully colored flowers in the world, I have a special affection for the white, and the white houses in the first two photos seem to me to be blooming in the landscape like pure, white flowers. They’re quite striking. The half-timbered house in the fourth photo is especially charming. What a wonderful day — or a dozen — could be passed in such a place! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good morning, dear Linda,
      we like these white houses as well. Especially the Tudors loved white houses with black timber. We find them especially charming with their thatched roofs.
      It was a wonderful day. At the night we went on the ferry to the Netherlands from there.
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Just the soothing beauties of fairyland that we need right now. Thank you for sending some romantic and oldtime glory! ♥ Depressing times and lost hope in mankind – some mending needed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Ann-Christine,
      indeed, we need such beauty and experience it. It’s healing.
      There are also bright spots like Macron’s victory in France.
      Thanks for commenting and wishing you a wonderful week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

    • Wishing you the same – and Macron’s victory was a great relief to most of us. I don’t want to think of how things might turn out next time.

      Like

  15. Pingback: Constable Country – Site Title

    • Dear Jane,
      thank you very much 🙏🙏
      Flatford Mill is the place to go for everyone who is interested in the romantic movement in art and who loves idyllic and peaceful places.
      Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Constable Country | THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON...

  17. It was a wonderful treat to view Constable country here in Dina’s photos and your words, Klaus. Her photos nicely reflect the landscape beauty of the area that Constable was famous for. Looks like a beautiful and peaceful place in the world.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you very much for your kind words, dear Jet 🙏🙏
      We really liked the peaceful atmosphere at Flatford Mill. Unfortunately, we are afraid it will be quite busy there during the tourist season.
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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    • Good morning, dear Lynn,
      thank you very much for commenting.
      The National Trust does preserve this place very well.
      Greetings from the sunny sea. Wishing you a wonderful week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. You are so right, there are places in England where time does stand still and this is definitely one of them. The images are simply marvelous. I wasn’t familiar with the painter or paintings but am wondering if Hanne made a point of capturing the scenes as they appear in his works. Either way they are reqlly quite special. Enjoyed my virtual visit very much

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Tina,
      well, we had a proper look at Constable’s pictures before we went. Hanne-Dina tried to catch this Constable-mood.
      We were lucky that the tourist season hasn’t started. There were not many people around but that would surely be different in summer.
      Thank you very much for your kind words.
      Wishing you a happy week, keep well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Woha, simply mind blowing scenes Klaus looks incredible!

    Looks like an ideal place to explore, looking at all of these stunning sceneries.

    This brings back memories on an expedition I took part in the beautiful island nation of Sri Lanka in South Asia.

    I set out on a journey to explore the longest river of Sri Lanka; River Mahaweli with a group of kayakers paddling for 3 long days.

    And trust me when I say this, it was ‘heaven on earth” from lush greenaries to all the flora and fauna simply captivated me. Read the full story here, https://sachsattic.wordpress.com/2022/07/24/exploring-the-river-mahaweli-on-a-kayak/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting.
      I was a member of some expeditions to the high Arctic like NE Greenland, Jan Mayen and Franz Josef Islands. I rather like the North. But I suppose the times of travelling are gone. Nowadays, I like to stay at home or to travel around in the UK.
      Kb 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Wow sounds really amazing, must have been really nice set of memories you’ve gathered from the north! 😃

      Can’t really say when we’ll get to go for expeditions or long distance journeys till then I’m quenching my thirst for adventures by going for places that are hiding in the plain sight!

      Liked by 2 people

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