Max Gate Dorchester
National Trust
Alington Avenue
Dorset DT1 2AB
 
 
 
‘Max Gate’ on the outskirts of Dorchester in Dorset was the home of English novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy. He designed the Victorian villa which was built by his brother, and he lived there for the last forty three years of his life.
 
Despite his literary success, Hardy was unsure it would continue so the house was originally smaller but big enough for a childless couple. He and his first wife Emma, took up residence in 1885.
 
Hardy's Well Known Novels
During the years that they resided at Max Gate, Hardy wrote some of his most well known works: The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Woodlanders, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure, The Dynasts as well as numerous poems and short stories. By 1895 his financial position was assured so he doubled the size of Max Gate.
 
In 1940 the National Trust acquired the property with a view to opening the house as an insight into the life of this enigmatic man. Currently the the hall, dining room, drawing room and the garden are open to the public. Look for the tiny gravestones in the garden’s pet cemetery.
 
There are some pieces of the Hardy’s furniture on display, and a catalogue of the books that were in Hardy's personal library offers a revealing look into what made this very private man “tick”.
 
Dorset County Museum
Thomas Hardy’s study was painstakingly reconstructed in the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester. It contains his library of 400 books including many of his own first editions, his cello as well as his desk, notebooks and writing materials. Go to this link to see what is on display Web: Writers' Dorset - The Literary Gallery
 
Hardy's Cottage
While in the Dorchester area, why not take the time to visit Thomas Hardy's birthplace - Hardy's Cottage.
 
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Hotels.com here:
 
Opening Dates, Times and Admission 
Please check the official National Trust website (below) for up to date information.
 
Disabled Access
- Building: 3 steps to entrance with handrail.
- Ground floor accessible, No toilets
 
Facilities
Self-service tea & cake in the kitchen; small souvenir shop
No Toilets
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone  +44 (0)1305 262 538
Mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Getting There
The National Trust website has good directions  Web:  Max Gate - Getting There  (External Link)
 
Google Map - Hardy's Max Gate