East Bergholt Church and Bell Cage

East Bergholt Church and Bell Cage

In the heart of 'Constable Country' - the artist's hometown of East Bergholt - Russell Reeve takes up one of Constable's favourite subjects, the village church. In this watercolour he accords equal attention to one of the church's most striking features, its bell cage. The wooden bell cage, with its pyramidal roof, was initially erected as a temporary structure in 1531 following a halt in the building of the church's tower after the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey, who was financing the construction. Construction of the tower never resumed, and the bell cage has remained in use to this day. The bells, the heaviest set of five in England at 4400 kilos, are still rung by hand with wooden hammers.