In 1811 Dr John Fisher introduced his nephew, John Fisher, to Constable. The younger Fisher became the artist’s closest friend, providing moral and financial support whenever they were needed and often purchasing works from Constable which he could ill afford. In 1819 Fisher became Vicar of Gillingham in Dorset and Constable was invited to stay there in 1820 and again in 1823. On the second occasion he painted this picture of the bridge with the village church beyond. Fisher’s son Osmond later recalled seeing Constable ‘sitting with his easel in the meadow at the right hand corner’.