East Bergholt

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East Bergholt
East Bergholt church - geograph.org.uk - 1481527.jpg
Church of St Mary the Virgin
East Bergholt is located in Suffolk
East Bergholt
East Bergholt
 East Bergholt shown within Suffolk
Population 2,765 (Including Flatford 2011 Census)[1]
OS grid reference TM072351
District Babergh
Shire county Suffolk
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CO7
Dialling code 01206
Police Suffolk
Fire Suffolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament South Suffolk
List of places

Coordinates: 51°58′33″N 1°01′00″E / 51.9759°N 1.01676°E / 51.9759; 1.01676

East Bergholt is a village in the Babergh District of Suffolk, England, just north of the Essex border.

East Bergholt and Hadleigh are the largest villages in the Stour Valley, a region historically known for its manufacture of linens[citation needed] The nearest town and railway station is Manningtree, Essex. East Bergholt is ten miles north of Colchester and 8 miles south of Ipswich. Schools include East Bergholt High School, a comprehensive for children aged 11-16, and a primary school.

During the 16th century, its inhabitants became well known for Protestant radicalism[citation needed] A few of its citizens were martyred during the reign of Queen Mary I, and the Protestant martyrologist John Foxe recorded their stories in his famous work Acts and Monuments (also known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs).

East Bergholt is the birthplace of painter John Constable whose father owned Flatford Mill. Flatford and Dedham, Essex, both made famous by John Constable, are within walking distance of East Bergholt.

Village Centre[edit]

The central area of the village includes a variety of businesses:

  • Co-Operative Village Shop.
  • Grier & Partners - a local estate agents.
  • Fountain House Tea Rooms - a small tea room.
  • The Red Lion - one of many pubs in East Bergholt.
  • De'aths Bakery
  • Dunthorne Cottage - a small independently run hardware store.

St. Mary's Church and bell cage[edit]

The Church of St Mary the Virgin was built in the 15th and 16th centuries, but is well known for the absence of a tower or spire to house the bells. Work began on a tower in 1525, but Cardinal Wolsey's fall from grace in 1530 brought construction to a halt and the following year a wooden bell cage was erected in the churchyard. This temporary structure still exists although not in its original position. It was moved from the south to the north side of the church in the 17th century because the occupant of Old Hall objected to the noise of the bells.

Bellcage of St. Mary's Church

The bells are exceptional in that they are not rung from below by ropes attached to wheels, as is usual in change ringing, but the headstock is manipulated by hand by ringers standing beside the bells.[2]

The bells are believed to be the heaviest five (A, G, F#, E, and D) that are rung in England today, with a total weight of 4¼ tons.

Other important buildings[edit]

Old Hall, south facade
  • Old Hall, with over 100 rooms and 355 windows has been in its time a manor house, nunnery, army barracks and friary. It now houses the Old Hall Community, a single household of about 60 people who live co-operatively and farm organically.[3]
  • Stour House was once the home of Randolph Churchill.
  • East Bergholt Place, home of the Eley family and "The Place for Plants" garden centre is noted for camellias.
  • Lambe School
  • Bridge Cottage is a 16th-century cottage used as a location by John Constable.


East Bergholt is in the Wards and electoral divisions of the United Kingdom called Dodnash. This ward stretches north-east to Bentley with a total population taken at the 2011 Census of 3,541.[4]

The village is "twinned" with the village of Barbizon in France.


Landscape with Clouds, John Constable, (c.1820 - c.1822), features the rectory at East Bergholt

East Bergholt has a weather station for which data is available. The village experiences a maritime climate with a narrow range of temperature and rainfall spread evenly throughout the year. See Ipswich Climate data.

Housing Development[edit]

In 2014 plans were drawn up for a new 144 housing estate in the north of the village. Local residents responded by erecting multiple signs around the village campaigning for a "No" decision by Babergh District Council. A decision about the planned development has yet to be published.

In March 2016, Babergh District Council approved the plans for a new housing development, despite strong opposition from Action East Bergholt Group and many concerned residents.


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Bells | The Benefice of East Bergholt and Brantham". Eastbergholtchurch.co.uk. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  3. ^ "Old Hall Community". Oldhall.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-15. 
  4. ^ "Dodnash ward population 2011". Retrieved 12 September 2015. 

External links[edit]