Sunday, 11 August 2013

Thomas Hardy's Birthplace, Dorset

Having driven to the car park we follow the first sign that directs us to the birthplace of the writer Thomas Hardy
The track is long and steep in places

After about 20 minutes we began to feel that this was a very reclusive family

Until we arrived at the cottage and saw that there was a much shorter and flatter route (about 15 minutes walk)!
We had walked over the hill instead of round it on part of the Hardy trail
The National Trust need to make their signing clearer!
Well we are here now and enjoying the truly cottage garden

The cottage was built of cob and thatch by Hardy's Grandfather and Hardy was born here in 1840

Thomas Hardy was an English Novelist and Poet, a Victorian realist, in the tradition of George Eliot, he was also influenced both in is novels and poetry by Romanticism, especially by 
William Wordsworth
He has about 50 books to his name, the most popular being
Far From the Maddening Crown
Jude the Obscure
Tess of the d'urbervilles
The Mayor of Casterbridge
Under the Greenwood Tree
His books reflect this area of Dorset which we see in the films of his books 

An upstairs study in the cottage

a bedroom

As in many of these old cottages there are stairs at both ends
We ascended at the other end up steep stairs but at this end the stairs are more a steep ladder

The upstairs rooms are usually linked in these old cottages - they do not have a corridor 

Back downstairs to what would obviously have been the living room area
This area was left of the front door with the Parlour to the right
We did not go into the parlour as a group of visitors were sitting listening to a volunteer reading from one of Hardy's books of poetry
Too time consuming for us as we plan to visit his own home after this

The house on the left is nothing to do with the Hardy home
but this is the road that we could have arrived by, had we known, but at least we can now walk back to the car park this way
I asked how people who could not walk could visit the house but was told that they could telephone and arrangements would be made for them to park close by
I guess you would lose the authenticity of the cottage in the woods if there was an adjoining car park

There were actually some nice houses on the way back that definitely would not have been there in Hardy's time


Elizabethd said...

Pretty house, surrounded by a very lovely cottage garden. You do visit nice places!

Barbee' said...

Lovely! Thank you for taking us with you, otherwise I would never have seen these lovely places.

Anonymous said...

The scene looking across the garden at the cottage couldn't appear any more English! I must remember not to go up the hill if we visit.

Vee said...

Not only were they reclusive they enjoyed living far from the maddening crowd. ☺

We have been learning a wee bit about Dorset from having watched "The Edwardian Garden." I love to see the English countryside this way as it looks as if one had just stepped into a painting.

So glad that you didn't have to return the way you came...

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Sorry you had to take the long walk to the cottage, but it was just a beautiful place. I am familiar with some of his writing and just recently watched a movie based on one of them. Under the Greenwood Tree. I've been out and viewing some places around our part of the country this summer but none of the history goes back more than a 100 years. We have nothing to compare to what you see. I do appreciate you giving me a chance to see sights I'd never else be able to.

Annie said...

Such a timeless place. Walking through there with you made me feel like I was set down in a living breathing past.

Sara said...

Quite interesting, Barbara. The cottage and garden remind me of several Strachan paintings I've found online in the past.

Winifred said...

Lovely photographs Barbara. The ones of the cottage & garden remind me of jigsaw puzzles I used to do years ago.

ChrisJ said...

I think I have read all of Hardy's novels. He is such a brilliant writer and so descriptive, but overall his novels are somewhat depressing I think. But read them any way just to see what good writing is all about.

cyclopseven said...

I guest this strategical location, away of from hustle and bustle of usual life, provided a spot so tranquil for him. The photos are excellent.

CherryPie said...

It looks like a really interesting house to visit.

Lori Zehr said...

Fascinating! My favorite type of gardens. Thank you for the post!

Cheri said...

I absolutely loved the cottage!!

Lorrie said...

Perhaps the place could be called Cottage the Obscure.
You do visit interesting places. I remember reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles in high school English and recently reread it. It lost none of its tragedy in the intervening years.

Willow said...

I am catching up on blog posts today. You've been traveling to many spots this summer. As always, your posts give me ideas for so many places I want to visit!

kreativehaende said...

very interesting! I like to read the books of Thomas Hardy.

Bernideen said...

It is amazing to me how these old houses have survived! I love his "adult" home on the outside especially! Thank you for the time you spent taking these photos and dialog!