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The heart of the hamlet has always been Flatford Mill, built in 1733. Featuring in a number of John Constable's paintings from the 18th century, many of you visit Flatford to get a glimpse of this imposing Grade 1 listed red-brick building.
Owned by John Constable’s father, Golding Constable, and later also his brother, Abram Constable, the water-powered mill ground grain for flour.
Milling continued down at Flatford until the turn of the 20th century but by the 1920s, the mill was in a bad state of repair.
The National Trust acquired Flatford Mill along with Willy Lott’s House in 1943 and since 1946 (along with Valley Farm since 1959) they have been leased to the Field Studies Council.
The FSC runs a range of residential courses that take place inside the mill which means that although visitors are unable to go inside, Flatford remains a working hamlet all year round.
You are able, however, to appreciate the views of the mill from the front and back just as Constable would have done almost 200 years ago.
The National Trust and the FSC continue to work together to preserve the Flatford estate. To the rear of Flatford Mill, there are plans to install an Archimedes Screw Hydro Turbine to once again harness the power of the adjacent River Stour.