Castle House, Dedham

By Sally Pudney on 21st May 2015

Getting back to normal here, after the Festival.

Visiting friends, gardening, making bread, lots of painting, of course! I’m also trying to catch up on my ‘From my garden’ series. I have a little more to do on my April picture, which features the magnolia outside my studio.

Magnolia Stellata 'Leonard Messell' outside my studio

Magnolia Stellata ‘Leonard Messell’ outside my studio

Then I shall need to swiftly get on with the May garden picture, which I think may show the beautiful double pale mauve lilac near the bottom of the garden, as it is looking and smelling wonderful at the moment.

On Tuesday I went to the Munnings Art Museum, at Castle House at Dedham for a talk on Sir Alfred Munnings’ paintings. As we all arrived the heavens opened with a tremendous storm of heavy rain and huge hailstones – not much like May! Fortunately, it didn’t last long, and we were able to get into the house, which is lovely, and enjoy the very interesting talk.

Castle House, Dedham, home to Munnings for 40 years

Castle House, Dedham, home to Munnings for 40 years

This year the curators have completely re-hung the whole house, so that the paintings are in chronological order, starting with Munnings’ boyhood works in the library, wending through the dining room and drawing room, upstairs to later war-time, and racing works, and late commissions. I much preferred his earlier work, with its looser, impressionistic style, and my two favourites were ‘Charlotte’s Pony’, and ‘Suffolk Mare and Foal’, both in the dining room. We had a delicious tea in the Garden Café, and when I came out there were two horses in the neighbouring field who rather looked as if they could be posing for Munnings!

Horses at Castle House, Dedham

Horses at Castle House, Dedham

If you are interested in visiting Castle House, which I really recommend if you are in the area, the address is The Munnings Art Museum, Castle House, Castle Hill, Dedham, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6AZ. It’s open from April to the end of October, Wednesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays, 2 – 5pm and costs £6.50 for adults. All the details on their website

Hope you have some nice plans for the Bank Holiday weekend – and that the weather improves for it! 🙂


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