The author Thomas Hardy was born in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, in this cottage on 2nd June 1860. His works feature characters that are drawn from the Dorset people and set in fictitious places but based squarely on real local places – hence the real Dorchester becomes “Casterbridge” in the novel “The Mayor of Casterbridge” and the real Bere Regis, becomes Kingsbere, and so on. In this cottage he wrote “Far From the Madding Crowd” and “Under Greenwood Tree”. Just around the back and at the entrance to his beloved heath stands a memorial erected to his memory “from a few of his American admirers”
There is a walk from here that passes through woods to the small hamlet of Stinsford, where Hardy attended church as a boy, and where he was baptised.
He died on 11th January 1928, in his home, Max Gate, which is but a short distance away. The Hardy Walk continues to Dorchester following the route he would have walked to school – there are many connections to explore there, but that’s for another post. His funeral was in Westminster Abbey on 16th January and his ashes are laid to rest in Poet’s Corner, at the insistence of his executor. He and his family wanted burial at Stinsford, so a compromise was made and his heart lies next to his second wife in Stinsford , Dorset, while his ashes are in Westminster.
I made these photo’s on Kodak Portra 160.