Visit 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).
Despite training as an architect, writing was Hardy’s first love, and it was from here that he wrote several of his early short stories, poetry and novels including ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ and ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’.
The garden is a typical cottage garden, with roses around the door, the sound of birdsong. Once inside you will discover that 19th-century rural life was not easy, with its open hearths, small windows and stone floors, it was not always idyllic.
Just a short walk from Hardy’s Cottage, on the edge of Thorncombe Wood Nature Reserve you’ll find our new visitor centre. Built in partnership with Dorset County Council, it is gateway for local people and visitors to discover more about the life and works of Thomas Hardy and his connection to the local landscape.