High Street Heroes In...Dedham


EXG MAR 15 DEDHAM HSH - Credit: Archant

Nestled along the River Stour in the heart of Constable Country, the village of Dedham is a quintessentially English location. Jennifer Savin discovers how its local traders all add to Dedham’s charms

Not being content with inspiring some of the nation’s greatest landscape painters, most notably John Constable, Dedham can also boast one of the most unmarred high streets in Britain.

Lined with a mix of Georgian and timber-fronted buildings, Dedham’s main street has managed to remain largely free of chain retailers and still attract a healthy level of tourism. The summer months in particular find the independent stores to be an important part of the appeal, alongside the rowing boats for hire and beautiful country surroundings, which are ever popular among artists, photographers and those who love a good stroll. The 15th century church that sits quietly between tea rooms, craft shops and cafes, also impresses as a key component of the high street, with beautiful arched windows and a rich interior.

David Burch, director of policy for the Essex Chambers of Commerce, agrees that the magnetism of Dedham High Street lies largely in its ability to remain uniquely traditional. ‘Dedham is well recognised as a tourist attraction that people visit throughout the year, with part of the charm being the great range of individual shops to be found,’ says David. ‘Dedham has a uniqueness not found in many other towns today and huge effort has been taken by councils and planners to allow the village to remain as untouched as possible.’

With pains routinely taken to keep the village looking as idyllic as a Constable painting, Dedham looks set to remain top of many tourists’ ‘to do’ lists and Essex residents are so lucky to have this treasure on our doorstep.

Here Essex Life meets the local traders keeping Dedham distinctive...

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