Thomas Hardy visitor centre

Living as we do in the lovely county of Dorset, we have many reminders of Thomas Hardy. This year a new Visitors’ Centre has opened near the cottage where Hardy was born. It’s been built with the aid of Dorset County Council and the National Trust, plus a lottery grant.

The exterior is constructed from local trees; the interior is smart, although I had thought there would be a larger shop area. There are some items for tourists to buy, such as postcards, and jars of preserves.

What is good is an educational area, with charts and books to help children. Thomas Hardy loved the countryside around the cottage and noticed all the flora and fauna. He would have loved the fact that others could learn about the area, which provided backdrops for many of his novels and poems. We tend to think of him in terms of his writing, but he was also an accomplished artist.

Early painting by Thomas Hardy
Early painting by Thomas Hardy

The area around the centre has been improved, so that it’s possible now to walk through the woods to his cottage, good for the able-bodied, while those, like us, who are not so mobile can use the original lane up to the cottage. The whole area is a nature lover’s paradise, and great for people to walk their dogs.

Hardy's birthplace Higher Bockhampton
The Cottage where Thomas Hardy was born

In the summer, it’s wise to look out for adders, especially in the nearby woods.

Bockhampton 004
Thorncombe Woods near Hardy’s Cottage
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9 thoughts on “New Centre near Hardy’s Birthplace

    1. I’ve read quite a few, my favourite being Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Coincidentally, I now live in the village which forms quite a part of that book. Also enjoyed The Mayor of Casterbridge very much.

  1. One of my favourite writers – and a part of the country I used to know well, although my last visit must have been more than 10 years ago now. Not sure I like the modern style of the centre, but anything that helps to interest a new generation in Hardy’s works has to be a good thing.

  2. This is a great post on a interesting subject, my Dear Chris!

    Not having concentrated on literature (much less in arts!) during my student years, had a quick look see for Thomas in good old wiki. Being very little of a poetry man, would like to read his Far from the Madding Crowd and The Mayor of Casterbridge, at least. Wonder if I will get the time!

    The painting You have presented proves he was a good artist indeed!

    Compared to most of India, Your places look SO inviting! Oh, We have those kinds too. But have to spend much to get there, and more to stay there!

    Two more things before I wind up!

    About the Lottery. Even a Socially Unconscious India is frowning upon these. For one person to win, (not to say the millions made by the agencies), SO many lose, little by little. Hope those things are stopped.

    Also, Your pages take a long time to open in browsers like Ours! Would You kindly put up pictures of lesser dpi too, (with links, may be, to higher density ones!)

    Regards. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your comments. I hadn’t given a thought to the dpi when uploading, so will try to remember to make them smaller. Can’t guarantee that I’ll always remember as my memory is not always perfect!

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