In this view Constable depicted Flatford Lock on the River Stour upstream from the upper lock gate, with a wooden footbridge and Bridge Cottage beyond it, and Dedham Church in the distance. Two figures rest on the ground near the lock on a pleasant day. The scene was in the vicinity of that which Constable depicted in A boat passing a lock 1826 .
Lucas engraved the plate in 1831, basing it on the painting that Constable had exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1813 as Landscape: Boys fishing (Anglesey Abbey, The National Trust). He made at least seven progress proof variations before the published state, of which this is the last. During the proofing the sky was reworked and the plants, birds and lights on the water were added.
Heysen wrote: ‘I feel elated at the inclusion of … A lock on the Stour – This always appeals as a well knit & most complete design’ (Heysen, 30 September 1948, NLA MS 5073/1/7182).