In the heart of Constable Country, this stylish, elegant and historic building has recently been completely refurbished to provide a unique venue for meetings, weddings, gatherings, and events of many kinds. Use the web link below for more information about the facilities offered, the history and refurbishment and tells you how to contact the Assembly Rooms for more information.
Assembly Rooms office - 01206 323921
Dedham Arts Society.
Dedham Arts Society was formed in 1967 by a few local artists who enjoyed painting for pleasure. It comprises around 40 members with a wide range of artistic styles.
Meetings and Art Workshops This friendly group meets every fortnight in either the Littlegarth Studio, Dedham, Essex, or nearby at the Stratford Institute, Stratford St Mary. These sessions are well attended. Workshops and demonstrations are included in our programme and include those given by Liz Seward, Hashim Akib, Charlotte Stewart and John Talman. Outdoor painting sessions take place in the summer in a variety of settings including the beautiful countryside surrounding Dedham.
Exhibitions Exhibitions are held twice each year in the Littlegarth Studio. In addition, up to four members at a time may hold their own exhibitions at the Littlegarth Studio.
Dedham Baby & Toddler Group.
The Dedham Parent and Toddler Group usuually hold weekly sessions on a Tuesday, 10:00am to 12:00pm, during term time in the Sports Pavilion on Duchy Field. The group is open to all ages up to Pre-School age. We have a variety of toys for the children to choose from, including books, puzzles, baby toys, ride ons and offer a craft/activity each week. We are a small friendly parent run group and enjoy meeting for a weekly chat and support. The cost is £2.50 per session, a snack and a drink are also provided. Please come along and check us out.
Dedham Comrades in Arms (CIA).
We are ex-servicemen who meet on the last Friday every month between 10.45 and 12 at the Duchy Barn in Dedham for coffee and a chat.
Dedham Films & Dedham Films Live.
Due to the pandemic no screenings at the moment. Our aim is to give you a special cinema experience where you can meet friends, have a glass of wine or beer and then sit back and enjoy great films on the big screen in your own village. Oh yes, and enjoy delicious ice cream during the interval. Films are screened in Dedham Assembly Rooms on the third Wednesday of every month and entry is only £4.00. There’s no membership fee – you can either buy your ticket from the newsagents, WA Hood on Dedham High Street, online by clicking on the Ticketsource icon on our ticket page of the website, or take a chance there will be tickets left and pay on the night at the door. We have our own state-of-the-art equipment offering big screen cinema quality pictures and great sound. Come and see wonderful films, new and old, from anywhere in the world. Films you wanted to see but missed and films you didn’t know were out there. If you love cinema you’ll love Dedham Films!
Dedham Films is a member of the British Federation of Film Societies.
Dedham Footpath Group.
Formed in 1975 Dedham Footpath Group exists primarily as a means by which lovers of the Dedham Vale and the surrounding countryside can be given an opportunity to enjoy rambles through friendly association with like-minded people. Dedham alone boasts over forty separate footpaths all of which have something to recommend them. The more popular both with local people and visitors usually include sections along the River Stour towards Flatford Mill in one direction or Stratford St Mary in the other. There are many more much less popular but still worthy of exploring however and these are often included in routes worked out by members who elect to lead.
Most walks are circular starting and finishing at a point where cars can be parked and often include a pub or tea rooms often at the end of the ramble. Approximately half are within the Dedham Parish although some do require a drive of up to fifteen miles. A typical outing would be of four to six miles and last about two hours. The emphasis is more on friendly chat and noting things of interest rather than serious striding out. Dogs on leads are mostly welcome except where the leader has requested otherwise. The programme of walks is fixed for the year at, or soon after, the AGM of the Group in January or February of each year and at that meeting a visiting speaker will be organised to talk on matters of common interest. The AGM has for the past few years been held at The Duchy Barn behind Royal Square in Dedham and is always on a Monday evening. Walk leaders are crucial to the success of the Group as without them it would not be possible to produce a programme for the year. There are usually walks in most months the exceptions being December January and February although a New Year’s Day walk is an established and popular feature of the post-Christmas holiday mood.
The annual subscription is presently £6 per person. Members are covered for third party insurance on organised walks. In the mid-summer months most walks take place in the evenings and at other times Sunday mornings or afternoons are generally favoured. The person agreeing to lead can decide the distance, date/time and starting point and will need to give details soon after the AGM so that the whole year programme can be published and circulated.
Dedham Horticultural Society.
DHS holds speakers’ evenings in the Assembly Rooms, Dedham High Street, at 7.30 pm on the first Wednesday of the month, except for January and the summer months. Evening meetings are friendly and comprise a varied programme of talks and presentations about a variety of horticultural topics and are a good way to meet other people interested in all aspects of gardening and related subjects. Recent DHS speakers’ evenings have covered: Creating my Garden from a Field, History and Development of the National Garden Scheme, and Care and Pruning of Fruit Trees. The subject of planned forthcoming speakers’ evenings include: Willow Weaving of Garden Structures, Propagation and Flower Arranging for Shows.
The Society organises one or more outings per year to gardens of interest, on a non-profit basis for members, with a small supplement for non-members. These are always extremely interesting and a good day out. In June we visited East Ruston Old Vicarage. When arranged, details for 2020 will be provided on our website.
Additionally, the Society presents a Spring and Autumn Show for all ages in the Assembly Rooms where you can exhibit (free of charge) your own produce, flowers, cookery or photographs to compete for various trophies, held for one year on loan, by each Class winner until the next year. Or you can just come along and see the wonderful show and enjoy a cup of tea.
The Society’s annual subscription is only £8 and entitles you to free entry to the seven speakers’ evenings, including tea, coffee and biscuits; non-members are always welcome at a small fee of £2 each session.
In May there is the ever-popular Plant Sale in front of Dedham Church where members’ donated surplus perennials, shrubs, annuals and vegetable plants are on sale at very reasonable prices; many a bargain is to be found! The money raised is used to fund the activities of the Society, help keep membership fees to a minimum and to subsidise outings.
Similarly a fund-raising Coffee Morning is held in June, where members and friends can get together and enjoy a lovely local garden belonging to one of our members.
The current officers of the society are: Chairman - Colin Biggins, Hon. Secretary - Elizabeth Ellis and Hon. Treasurer - Betty Cox.
Colin Biggins 01206 322656
Elizabeth Ellis 01206 231164
Dedham Therapy Farm
At Dedham Therapy Farm we offer Animal Facilitated Therapy combined with Occupational Therapy to clients of all ages in the community. It is well known that animals, nature and activity have a therapeutic value to humans which enables us to be restored to better health and wellbeing by interacting with them on a regular basis. We provide a variety of activities on the farm such as animal care, land management, woodwork, conservation, gardening, work experience and much more. We have a diverse client group covering mental health including adolescents, Autism, learning difficulties, people with depression. We also provide training placements for Occupational Therapy Students and young people on Alternative Education. For further information please contact Gill De'ath on 01206 322070 or 07984 320347.
Further, we are always on the lookout for volunteers to help on the farm, so if you can spare a couple of hours a week and would be willing to lend a hand feeding the animals or general maintenance or helping with the paperwork, please ring Gill (number above) or Cath Hine on 07825 952560
The Dedham Players is one of the leading local amateur theatre groups drawing on the Colchester, North Essex and South Suffolk regions. We produce 2 to 3 productions a year and always strive to present an interesting variety of shows and display lots of local talent. Apart from occasional open air productions at Castle House, Dedham, the productions are staged in the Assembly Rooms.
Dedham Sports Club Quiz Team
The Sports Club Quiz team is captained by Tracy Hill and takes part in the Constable Quiz League. There are 7 teams this season that played last season, playing from the same venues, so we are keeping the same format as last year, which should make it nice and simple this season. That means that league matches will be three teams at two venues, plus one team on a bye who are setting the questions. There will also be all team group quizzes every few weeks, starting at the Cross Inn on 5th October. The teams taking part in the 2014-15 season are Dedham Sports Club, Bromley Cross Inn - Great Bromley, The Case is Altered - Bentley, The Brook Inn - Washbrook, Hare and Hounds - East Bergholt, The Kings Head - East Bergholt and The Royal Oak - East Bergholt.
Dedham Watercolour Group
Dedham Watercolour Group meets every Monday morning at the Duchy Barn from 10.30 am onwards. All ages and levels of experience welcome, especially beginners! A charge of £2 is made for each session on a 'pay as you go' basis - coffee/tea and biscuits are provided. For further details contact Avril Biggins on 01206 322565
Dedham Branch of the WEA
The WEA is open to all adults irrespective of background or qualifications. Our aim is to provide courses in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where students can learn at their own pace. Many find the confidence to develop new skills or to pursue further academic studies. Dedham branch of the WEA hold their courses at the Dedham Sports Club, Southfeilds Dedham.
Dedham Youth Club
The Dedham Youth Club is devoted to the young people of Dedham who either live in the village or have attended Dedham Primary School. Children are generally invited to becomes members once they have completed their SATs in Year 6 and are welcome to continue their annual membership throughout their high school years. There are currently 60 members. The Youth Club strives to create a safe environment where the young people can meet up and enjoy themselves freely as young adults under the supervision of our dedicated Youth Worker. Activities are often organised, with occasional theatre trips. Sweets and Drink are available to purchase. The Youth Club meets on Friday nights from 7:30pm at the Duchy Barn. Entry fee applies.
Mark Dempsey 07503 009790
Mondays 10.30am - 1.30pm The Watercolour Group £2 per session including tutoring and refreshment. All monies go to the Duchy Barn fund. Anyone is welcome to join the group and in the summer visitors to the village join us for a look at the barn and sometimes refreshments.
Tuesdays 10.30-12noon Coffee Morning – just turn up!
Wednesdays 2.00-5.00pm Bridge in Dedham Duplicate Bridge Club. No partner needed. Contact Judith on 322938 for more details
Thursday 10.30-12noon Coffee Morning – just turn up!
Thursday 7.00pm-10.00pm Bridge in Dedham Duplicate Bridge Club. No partner needed. Contact Judith on 322938 for more details
Friday 10.30-12noon Coffee Morning – just turn up! ....and on the last Friday in the month Military Veterans gather together
Friday 7.30-9.15pm Youth Club – open to young people from the village
The Barn is also available for private hire: £15 per session for local groups; £40 for parties – contact Anne Rowledge 322394