Flatford Mill is a Grade I listed watermill on the River Stour in the tiny hamlet of Flatford, East Bergholt, on the Suffolk/Essex borders. It is instantly recognisable from the many paintings by John Constable which feature, not only Flatford Mill, but also Willy Lott’s House and Valley Farm. All the properties are owned by the National Trust, but public access cannot be gained to the buildings, apart from Bridge Cottage, which is a 16th century thatched cottage, where there is an Information Centre and Constable exhibition. Adjacent to Bridge Cottage, is the National Trust Tea Room.
Flatford Mill, Valley Farm and Willy Lott’s House are leased to the Field Studies Council. Over three hundred residential courses in the arts, ecology and natural history are held at the Field Study Centre each year. The Mill, built in 1733, including the Granary, was owned by John Constable’s father, Golding. Willy Lott’s House is thought to be about 400 years old and is depicted in Constable’s famous painting, “The Hay Wain”.
There are several walks from Flatford, including a popular walk along the River Stour to Dedham. Rowing boats may be hired from Flatford Bridge and in the summer, the River Stour Trust provides cruises on an electric boat.