National Trust takes on historic building in ‘Constable Country’

The Granary in Flatford is now under the care of the National Trust Picture: SIMON PEACHEY/NATIONAL

The Granary in Flatford is now under the care of the National Trust Picture: SIMON PEACHEY/NATIONAL TRUST - Credit: Archant

A historic Suffolk building once owned by the family of famous artist John Constable has come into the care of the National Trust.

The building was once owned by Constable's father Picture: SIMON PEACHEY/NATIONAL TRUST

The building was once owned by Constable's father Picture: SIMON PEACHEY/NATIONAL TRUST - Credit: Archant

Built in the 18th-century, The Granary has now joined other iconic buildings in the heart of Constable’s Flatford which will be looked after by the conservation charity.

Flatford Mill, Valley Farm, Bridge Cottage and Hay Barn are currently under the care of the trust, as well as Willy Lott’s House – which famously features in Constable’s iconic painting The Hay Wain.

Once owned by John Constable’s father, Golding Constable, The Granary was originally a wool store before being converted to store grain and flour.

Following the death of Golding Constable, it passed on to his younger son, Abram.


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The barn also caught the imagination of John Constable himself, who created a pencil sketch of it in 1813.

By the turn of the 20th-century, milling at Flatford had ceased and The Granary was left to fall into disrepair before it was converted into a private home in the 1970s.

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More recently, the building has been used as a private home, a museum and a holiday destination.

Jonathan Rhodes, property operations manager for the National Trust at Flatford, said: “The Granary plays an important part in the history of Flatford and the story of John Constable, so for us to be able to take on the care of this special place offers a wonderful opportunity to continue honouring the legacy and life of this incredible artist.

“As well as The Hay Wain being one of the nation’s most loved paintings, we know that Constable was incredibly fond of Flatford and the landscape that makes the Dedham Vale so beautiful.”

The National Trust at Flatford says it will now begin developing plans for how to tell the story of The Granary and its place in the history of Flatford, as well as how to ensure it can become a place for visitors to Flatford to discover and explore.

Mr Rhodes added: “We’re keen to hear from and work with others on developing plans for the future of The Granary. Flatford holds such a special place in the hearts of so many people and we are very much looking forward to continue telling its story.”

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