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Max Gate - Thomas Hardy

Max Gate

Max Gate – The Home of Thomas Hardy

In 1885, Thomas Hardy and his wife Emma moved into Max Gate, the Victorian home which he designed and his brother built.

Max Gate was Hardy’s home for forty years, until he died in 1928 but whilst there he wrote some of his most famous works, The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Woodlanders, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure, The Dynasts as well as numerous poems and short stories.

His two-volume “autobiography,” The Early Life of Thomas Hardy, 1840-1891 and The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, 1892-1928 were published under his second wife’s name, Florence Hardy, in accordance with Hardy’s instructions prior to his death.

Today, Max Gate is under care of the National Trust, as is the Hardy Cottage in Bockhampton. Both of these historic locations are open to the public and are well worth a visit if you are following the Hardy Trail.

Max Gate offers a revealing look into Hardy’s personal life by offering a catalogue of the books that were in Hardy’s library.

Continue the Thomas Hardy Trail by taking in Hardy Cottage where Thomas Hardy was born and grew up and the Dorset Museum where you can see a reconstruction of Thomas Hardy’s Study.


  • Designed by Hardy
  • Named after Mack, a local tollgate keeper
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles written here
  • Jude the Obscure written here
  • Much of his poetry written here
  • Garden as originally planned

Special Features

  • TH designed sundial
  • Events & children’s activities

Visiting Max Gate

Alington Road
Dorset DT1 2AB

Getting there: 1 mile east of Dorchester. From Dorchester follow A352 Wareham road to roundabout named Max Gate (at junction of A35 Dorchester bypass). Turn left and left again into cul-de-sac outside the house. Please note: parking near the house is very limited.

Opening times

  • House & garden
  • 1 March – 31 October: Mon –Sun 11am to 5pm, last entry at 4.30pm
  • 1 November 2017 – 28 February 2018: Thurs – Sun, 10am to 4pm, last entry at 3.30pm


  • Adult Gift Aid £7.00
  • Adult Standard £6.00
  • Child Gift Aid £3.50
  • Child Standard £3.00
  • Group adult standard £5.00
  • Group child standard £2.50


tel: 01305 262538
E: email

Visit the Max Gate website

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