Thomas Hardy was laid to rest at Stinsford Church. At least, his heart was. The rest of his body was cremated and interred in Westminster Abbey in Poets’ Corner. He wanted his heart to be placed in the grave with his first wife Emma. He had not treated her too kindly in life, but still he must have remembered her well. Also his ancestors were in this same churchyard.
The family worshipped at Stinsford Church and Thomas Hardy attended Sunday school. He was involved with the church here mainly in his childhood and as a teenager. When he left home in his 20s, he went to London, so did not become such a frequent visitor to the church until he returned to Dorset to live at Max Gate.
Hardy was not the only poet to be buried in this churchyard. Near the Hardy family graves lies the grave of Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis.