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Max Gate, Dorchester

(4.5/5 based on 160 reviews on the web)
Max Gate is the former home of Thomas Hardy and is located on the outskirts of Dorchester, Dorset, England.Hardy designed and lived in Max Gate from 1885 until his death in 1928. He lived there with his first wife Emma, and then with his second wife Florence. It was there that he wrote Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and The Mayor of Casterbridge, as well as much of his poetry.In 1940, Hardy's sister Kate left the house to the National Trust with the stipulation that it should be lived in. The house has been continually occupied since then. It was first opened to the public in 1994 with restricted access and limited opening times for a few days a week. Beginning in 2011 the National Trust opened all three floors of the house to the public five days a week (from March to October), allowing access to the hall, drawing room, two studies, the dining room and the kitchen. In 2013 two bedrooms were also opened up for the first time, including the room where Thomas Hardy wrote the Mayor of Casterbridge and where he died. The house contains several pieces of Hardy's furniture, although his study has been relocated to the Dorset County Museum.Half of the 100m diameter Neolithic interrupted ditch enclosure known as Flagstones is under the grounds of Max Gate; the other half was archaeologically excavated in 1987 prior to the construction of the Dorchester bypass.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Hardy trained to be an architect but fortunately he decided to make his career in writing . he drew on the characters that lived in his Dorset and he gave life to the countryside of his Dorset. Hardy ...  more »
  • Essential place to visit if you are interested in Thomas Hardy. This is the place he built to his own design and his life is vividly brought to life in the displays in the house. The excellent Nationa...  more »
  • The Life if Thomas Hardy and the relationship with his wife figures large in this house built by his brother. An interesting house reflecting the style of living at the time. Tie this in with his birt...  more »
Google
  • Excellent NT house with more laid back feel than usual
  • Lovely house and furniture, authentic to the time:)