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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)[1]—when he left home to be married to Emma Gifford.

Thomas Hardy's Cottage
Hardy's cottage, Higher Bockhampton - - 480484.jpg
Thomas Hardy's Cottage
TypeCob and thatch building
LocationHigher Bockhampton, Dorset, England, United Kingdom
Original useBirthplace of author Thomas Hardy
Governing bodyNational Trust

The cottage was built by Hardy's great-grandfather in 1800. It is now a National Trust property, and a popular tourist attraction.[2] The property has a typical cottage garden, and the interior displays furniture which, although not from the Hardy family, is original to the period.[3] The property is situated on the northern boundary of Thorncombe Wood.[1][4] It is only three miles from Max Gate,[5] 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.[6] The project also included new trails in Thorncombe Wood.[6] The project, which secured £525,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, was a joint partnership between Dorset County Council and the National Trust.[7] The visitor centre opened in September 2014.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Thomas Hardy's Wessex, Higher Bockhampton, Dorset". The Guardian. London. 6 June 2009. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Hardy's cottage to be rented out". BBC News. 26 September 2006.
  3. ^ "The cottage where Hardy was born". National Trust. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Thorncombe woods". Dorset County Council. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Visitor Information". National Trust. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Plans to transform Thomas Hardy's birthplace have been given the green light with funding from Heritage Lottery Fund". National Trust. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Thomas Hardy visitor centre opens in Dorset". BBC News. 29 September 2014.

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