A new visitor centre celebrating Thomas Hardy and bringing together his cottage and the landscape which inspired his writing, has been opened by Lord Julian Fellowes.
The timber-built visitor centre – a joint project between Dorset County Council and the National Trust – is in Thorncombe woods, at Higher Bockhampton, near Dorchester, a short walk from Hardy’s Cottage through the historic broadleaved woodland. The Hardy Birthplace Visitor Centre is designed to help visitors to find out more about Hardy and the surrounding woodland and landscapes that influenced his work.
At the ceremony, Lord Fellowes was joined by the New Hardy Players who performed songs and readings from Thomas Hardy.
The £1,027,241 project was made possible thanks to a grant of £535,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the development of the visitor centre and education trails in Thorncombe Wood.
For more details and photos see April’s 4Dorset magazine.