Thomas Hardy is one of the nation’s great authors and poets. He was born in 1840 in a small cob and thatch cottage at Higher Bockhampton near Dorchester, Dorset; where he lived until he was 34. It was built by his great-grandfather, and is little altered since the family left. The property is owned by the National Trust.
Hardy’s cottage is adjacent to Thorncombe Wood, a 26-hectare site close to Dorchester with a wide diversity of habitats including heathland, woodland and a pond. The wood is owned by Dorset County Council and managed by the Dorset Countryside service. Thorncombe Wood is one of the few woods of broad-leaved, semi-natural character that is open to the public in the Dorchester-Weymouth area.
This new Visitors Centre and associated landscape works serve visitors to both Hardy’s Cottage and Thorncombe Wood, and is know as Hardy’s Birthplace Project.
Hardy’s Birthplace provides WC facilities, a small cafe, exhibition and seminar space and also provides for the continuing activities of the Ranger Service as regards to woodland management including an office and workshop.
The building has been design to be environmentally sensitive and a low energy solution. It is constructed of a Glu-laminated timber frame with external cedar cladding and both a shingle and a brown roof. A wood burner provides heating through underfloor heating system and is naturally ventilated.
Hardy’s Birthplace is also part funded by Heritage lottery fund.
read more about Thomas Hardy's visitor centre here: