If you are looking for office work space in Essex or Suffolk, but don’t want all the hustle and bustle that goes with being based in a town, then a rural location is often ideal.
Recent studies suggest there are plenty of health benefits from working in the countryside, and workers’ productivity is boosted too. The Gattinetts Business Centre, which can offer a range of different offices, units and workshops for rent, is in the heart of Constable Country, one of most attractive parts of the UK.
The area gets its name from John Constable, one of the most famous landscape artists this country has ever produced. Here we look at Constable’s connections to an area which is right on our doorstep, and the stories behind some of his most famous works.
Constable was born in East Bergholt, the south Suffolk village close to the Essex border where the Gattinetts Business Centre is located, in 1776. The beauty of the surrounding area made a deep impression on him as a young man and he began sketching rural scenes. Even after he pursued his artistic career in London, he still made a habit of returning to East Anglia every summer, to the countryside that he loved.
Constable’s father Golding was a corn merchant, and the artist had been expected to follow him into the family business. Fortunately, he was able to convince his father that his talents lay elsewhere.
Flatford Mill, one of Constable’s most famous works, was owned by his father and the artist’s picture shows a working scene with a shire horse drawing a set of barges up the River Stour, with the mill in the background. The picture was originally called Scene on a Navigable River and the whole scene is less than two miles from the Gattinetts Business Centre.
Constable’s dramatic picture of the Suffolk landscape captures the River Stour, the village of Dedham and its church, plus the estuary beyond it. He painted this picture, which is sometimes known as The Vale of Dedham, when he was 26. The location for this landscape is less than five miles from the Gattinetts Business Centre and today forms part of an officially-designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Hay Wain
One of the most well-known pictures in the history of British art, this work was initially more popular in France. It shows three horses pulling a wagon or ‘wain’ across the River Stour, close to Flatford Mill. Willy Lott’s House, the subject of a famous separate painting by the artist, is visible on the left of the canvas.
Willy Lott’s Cottage
Willy Lott was a tenant farmer who worked the 39 acres around Flatford, and the house was part of the estate. Although often referred to as a cottage, its official name is Willy Lott’s House, which is the name Constable used. The painting gives a different perspective on the property to The Hay Wain.
The building, parts of which originally date from the 16th and 17th centuries, was restored by Ipswich builder and philanthropist Thomas Parkington. On his death in 1943, ownership passed to the National Trust. The Trust has now leased it to the Field Studies Council so school parties, individuals and groups can learn in a unique environment.
This picture captures more rural riverside labour. Painted in 1824, it shows a man trying to open a lock on the Stour at Dedham to let a boat pass along the river. Dedham Church can again be seen in the background. Auctioneers Christies sold the picture for more than £22million in 2012 to a private bidder.
The Gattinetts Business Centre, although benefiting from the tranquillity of a rural location, lies within easy reach of both Ipswich and Colchester, making it ideal for those looking for office work space in Essex or Suffolk. We provide free on-site parking for customers and staff and we also have secure on-site storage facilities.
Contact The Gattinetts Business Centre if you would like to know more about the offices, industrial units and workshops we have available for rent.