National Trust - Hardy's Cottage, Dorchester

4.5
#2 of 8 in Historic Sites in Dorchester
Thomas Hardy's Cottage, in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, is a small cob and thatch building that is the birthplace of the English author Thomas Hardy. He was born there in 1840 and lived in the cottage until he was aged 34—during which time he wrote the novels Under the Greenwood Tree (1872) and Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)—when he left home to be married to Emma Gifford.The cottage was built by Hardy's great-grandfather in 1800. It is now a National Trust property, and a popular tourist attraction. The property has a typical cottage garden, and the interior displays furniture which, although not from the Hardy family, is original to the period. The property is situated on the northern boundary of Thorncombe Wood. It is only three miles from Max Gate, the house that Hardy designed and lived in with Emma Gifford from 1885 until his death in 1928.In 2012 the go ahead was given to a project to build a new visitor centre near the cottage. The project also included new trails in Thorncombe Wood. The project, which secured £525,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, was a joint partnership between Dorset County Council and the National Trust. The visitor centre opened in September 2014.
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National Trust - Hardy's Cottage Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
479 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Had a most interesting visit to Hardy’s birth place. Lovely setting, easy to find. Staff were very informative. Gardens are well kept. Appreciate the authenticity of the property. Well worth a visit.  more »
  • The cottage is just how you imagined! Set in a small wooded area surrounded by amazing gardens, I can just picture Hardy growing up here! The staff have a good knowledge of all things Hardy, so do ask...  more »
  • We have never found a friendlier National Trust venue. The staff were enthusiastic, welcoming and knowledgeable without being overpowering. The furniture was of the period but not Thomas Hardy’s own f...  more »
Google
  • The car park is free to National trust members and you just have to give your car details in the excellent visitor centre where you can get a great cup of tea and a naughty piece of cake. There is a great walk through the woods from the visitor centre to the cottage but you can also get to it via a road if required. The cottage seems so small to us now - and I dont just mean the head room - but its all beautifully presented with period fittings with the superb National Trust guides to provide more details. Once you've been to the cottage and gardens there are lovely walks through the surrounding woods with wild ponies and abundant bird life - a great day out.
  • Brilliant place. The volunteers were very knowledgeable and friendly. It made the visit very enjoyable and has encouraged me to read more of Thomas Hardy's books. Was great to hear the violin being played by one of the visitors. A very memorable experience.
  • If you love Hardy's works you'll instantly understand where his inspiration came from in this beautiful and special place. If you buy one of his books from here you can have it specially stamped to show that it was purchased at the cottage. The cottage inside remains how it was during Hardy's childhood. A beautiful and hugely important place in England's literary history.
  • A very interesting few hours, definitely worth a visit and good look around. The Christmas season was nice here. Would recommend coming on a sunny day.
  • Great walk through the woods not a national trust car park so had to pay
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