Hardy’s CottageDorchester
National Trust
Higher Bockhampton
Dorset DT2 8QJ
If it is the romantic rural England you are seeking you should not miss visiting Hardy’s Cottage in Dorset. This pretty early 19th century thatched cottage is the birthplace of English novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy.
The cottage is bounded on one side by a leafy lane and on the other by Thorncombe Wood. An abundant floral cottage garden almost hides the dwelling from view.
There are no current century amenities visible to spoil this secluded spot. Access is by walking up the lane or through the wood from the car park 600 yards (550 metres) away.
Drifts of Bluebells
If you visit in late spring or summer, the woodland walk is through drifts of bluebells and the garden is a mass of lavender, lupins, lilies, marigolds and other traditional plants.
The cottage was built in 1800 by Thomas’s great-grandfather, a reputed smuggler of brandy. It is said that the peep-hole in the porch was put in to keep watch for inquisitive excise men. Thomas was born in the middle upstairs bedroom on 2 June 1840.
Far from the Madding Crowd
Hardy lived here very happily with his extended family for 34 years. He wrote several novels while living in the house including Under the Greenwood Tree and Far from the Madding Crowd.
The property is now owned by the National Trust and open to the public. A visit is a step back in time and it is easy to imagine the author seated on the window seat in his upstairs room, writing, as he looked out over Black Down.
Max Gate
Hardy and his wife subsequently lived at Max Gate in Dorchester, a Victorian Villa designed by Hardy and built by his brother. He lived there for the last forty three years of his life. Max Gate is also owned by the National Trust.
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:
Opening Dates, Times & Admission
Please check the official National Trust website (link below) for current information.
Disabled Access
- Cottage: There is one step at the entrance. Upstairs rooms not accessible
- Grounds: Accessible route.
- Drop-off Point:  By prior arrangement with custodian but no parking
Tel: 01305 262366 or mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange.
All facilities are available at the nearby Visitor Centre.
Contact & Further Information
Telephone  +44 (0)1305 262 366
Mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Getting There
The National Trust website has 'Getting There Information'.
Google Map - Hardy's Cottage


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