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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Max Gate

Once Thomas Hardy's fame and fortune as a novelist and poet was confirmed, he designed and had built Max Gate, his residence from 1885 until his death in 1928, just outside Dorchester.

Max Gate

As a trained architect Hardy designed the villa to his own specifications and it ws built by his father and brother - very much a Hardy family affair. The house was extended later.

Hardy's classic Wessex novels: Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and the Mayor of Casterbridge were all written at Max Gate.

Max Gate, Dorchester

Several pieces of Hardy's original furniture and personal effects are on display.

The house at Max Gate is still inhabited and only the hall, the dining room, drawing room and garden are open to visitors.

Famous guests included Robert Louis Stevenson, H G Wells, Sir James Barrie, Robert Graves, Rudyard Kipling, Mrs Patrick Campbell, A E Housman, Siegfried Sassoon, Edmund Blunden, George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Gustav Holst and Marie Stopes.

From his birth to the age of 34, Hardy lived in a small cottage in Higher Bockhampton.

Max Gate is 1 mile east of Dorchester town. From Dorchester follow the A352 Wareham road to Max Gate roundabout at the junction of the A35 Dorchester bypass. Turn left and left again into cul-de-sac outside the house.

Max Gate
Alington Avenue
Dorset DT1 2AB
Telephone: 01305 262538

Hours: 2-5pm; 5 Apr–30 Sep 09
Admission: 3 GBP

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