After Thomas Hardy left his birthplace at Higher Bockhampton, he moved around, gaining experience no doubt for his novels and poetry. Eventually, having sampled London and other places, he returned to Dorset. As his work became more known, he wanted a house built and his brother did this for him. This was Max Gate, near Dorchester. His brother stated later that he’d never do it again, as Thomas was known for his meanness and obviously this affected his relationship with his brother and his work.
At Max Gate, Hardy wrote many of his novels and poems. Jude the Obscure was written in a gloomy small room on the first floor, a room with no real outlook. Whether the book took its mood from the room is open to debate. Later he used a larger room with a view over the garden, a much brighter room. He had rooms added as he gained more money from his writing.
At Max Gate there were always pets, mainly dogs. Hardy loved his dogs, and they were famous, especially Wessex, who had a habit of biting visitors, no matter how famous they were. The pets were remembered with grave stones in the pet cemetary in the grounds at Max Gate.