New homes delayed until 'Constable Country' historic kiln find investigated

Joan Miller, chair of East Bergholt Parish Council, and district councillor for East Bergholt, John Hinton. 

Both Joan Miller, chairwoman of East Bergholt Parish Council, and district councillor for East Bergholt, John Hinton, are fighting to persevere the 19th century kiln discovered near John Constable's home. - Credit: Joan Miller/Supplied/Sarah Lucy Brown

A 75-home development will not go ahead until the significance of an exciting archaeological find near legendary painter John Constable's home has been fully investigated.

Hills Building Group is hoping to create the homes - along with a pre-school and community hub - in Heath Road, East Bergholt, on land east of Constable Country Medical Centre.

It says the development will provide "much-needed new housing".

But last week, Colchester Archaeological Trust unearthed a kiln, believed to be from the 1850s, close to Constable's home and his father Golding Constable's windmill.

As a result, Babergh District Council is now waiting on an archaeological report before giving the project the green light to start. 

A spokeswoman for Babergh District Council said: “Our council shares the community’s excitement about this recent find on land near Constable Country Medical Centre, and can offer reassurance that works won’t begin on site until the applicant has reported their archaeological findings to us and we have considered their consequences, as well as any necessary amendments to proposals.


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“We are also considering next steps – balancing our commitment to preserving Babergh’s culture and history, with the requirement for much-needed new homes and community facilities, including a pool, in the area – to best meet the needs of East Bergholt.”

A kiln has been found at land east of Constable Country Medical Centre on Heath Road, East Bergholt.

A kiln has been found at land east of Constable Country Medical Centre on Heath Road, East Bergholt. - Credit: Supplied

District councillor for East Bergholt, John Hinton, believes the find is "significant" enough to be preserved. 

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Mr Hinton added that the East Bergholt Society is looking further into the item's history and has reached out to a Suffolk kiln expert to try to understand more about it. 

Joan Miller, chairwoman of East Bergholt Parish Council, said residents want to see the kiln "preserved" due to the "significance of the area". 

John Constable was born in East Bergholt in 1776.

Constable is known principally for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home, which is now known as Constable Country.

His best-known paintings include the Hay Wain from 1821 and Wivenhoe Park from 1816.

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