Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

River Stour

The River Stour is one of the more important rivers in the East of England, and certainly one of the most beautiful.

It rises near Balsham in Cambridgeshire, and then for almost its entire length forms the boundary between the beautiful counties of Essex and Suffolk. For its last few miles it becomes an impressive tidal river, joining with the tidal River Orwell to enter the North Sea between Harwich and Felixstowe.

An area just before the Stour becomes tidal is widely known as Constable Country.

Clare is a historic old town after which the powerful de Clare family took their name. In a delightful country park are the remains of the castle.

Cavendish, early home of the family who became Dukes of Devonshire, has one of England's outstanding village greens.

Long Melford, famous for antiques, has another splendid village green and outstanding church at the top of the long village street.

Sudbury is a bustling market town which produced the painter Thomas Gainsborough.

Dedham is where John Constable, born nearby, went to school, and the church features in several of his paintings.

Flatford is where Constable's father owned the mill, and is also featured in some famous paintings.

Manningtree, said to be the smallest town in England, was the birthplace of the notorious Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General.

Harwich is a historic old port, and birthplace of Christopher Jones, captain of the "Mayflower".

Felixstowe is a popular seaside resort which now doubles as a giant container port.