What to See in England
By Gordon Home

Presented by

Public Domain Books

The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances

=How to get there.=–Train from Waterloo. L. and S.W. Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Dorchester. =Distance from London.=–135-1/4 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 3 to 5-1/2 hours.

                     1st       2nd        3rd
=Fares.=–Single  22s. 8d.  14s.  2d.  11s. 4d.
          Return  39s. 8d.  24s. 10d.  22s. 8d.

=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Antelope,” “King’s Arms,” and other hotels. =Alternative Route.=–Train from Paddington. Great Western Rly.

The centre of the district in the south-west of England which has been labelled with its ancient Saxon name of Wessex, may be found at the old-fashioned town of Dorchester. This is the Mecca of the whole countryside so vividly portrayed in Mr. Hardy’s numerous romances dealing with the rustic life of the west country. On market-days, Dorchester is crowded with carriers’ vans and innumerable vehicles which have brought in the farmers and their families from remote corners of the surrounding country, and it is then that one is able to select examples of many of the characters created by the novelist. To get at these folk in their homes, one may journey in almost any direction from Dorchester. The streets of Dorchester are suggestive of Mr. Hardy’s works at every turn, so much so that the wayfarer may almost feel that he is taking an expurgated part in The Mayor of Casterbridge. A large old-fashioned house near St. Peter’s Church seems to correspond to Lucetta’s residence–High Place Hall. Then, the comfortable bay-windows of the “King’s Arms,” an old hostelry belonging to coaching days, suggests recollections of Henchard, who dined there on the occasion of the memorable banquet, when he threw down the challenge so quickly taken up by Farfrae.

Going up South Street one passes on the right the Grammar School, founded in 1579 by a certain Thomas Hardy, an ancestor of all the Dorset Hardys–Nelson’s friend and the Wessex novelist being the most distinguished among them. Mr. Thomas Hardy lives in a new red house known as “Max Gate,” which is situated a short distance from Dorchester. Eight miles away from the town is the village of Puddletown, known as “Weatherbury” in Far from the Madding Crowd. The church Mr. Hardy describes in his novel can be seen, but Warren’s malt-house was destroyed more than twenty years ago. St. Peter’s Church, Dorchester, of the Perpendicular period, has a Norman porch and contains two cross-legged recumbent effigies.

[Illustration: Photochrom Co., Ltd. DORCHESTER.

The centre of Mr. Thomas Hardy’s “Wessex."]


Preface  •  Ham House and Petersham  •  Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)  •  Harrow  •  Holwood House, Keston  •  Chigwell, Essex  •  Waltham Abbey and Cross  •  Downe  •  Epsom: Its Races and Its Salts  •  Epping Forest  •  Hampton Court  •  Rye House, Broxbourne  •  Hatfield House, Herts  •  Runnymead, the Signing of Magna Charta  •  The Oldest Brass in England  •  St. Albans  •  Stoke Poges Church, Bucks  •  Windsor  •  Jordans and William Penn  •  Knole House and Sevenoaks  •  Greenstead Church  •  Chalfont St. Giles  •  Westerham  •  Guildford, Surrey  •  Gad’s Hill  •  Ightham Mote, Kent  •  Penshurst  •  St. Michael’s Mount and Marazion  •  Rochester Cathedral  •  Tunbridge Wells  •  The Quintain Post At Offham and Malling Abbey  •  Eversley  •  Farnham, Surrey  •  Hindhead, Surrey  •  Shottermill  •  Penn’s Chapel At Thakeham, Sussex  •  Chawton the Home of Jane Austen  •  Selborne  •  Elstow  •  Lewes, Sussex  •  Bodiam Castle, Sussex  •  Colchester, Essex  •  Layer Marney  •  Battle Abbey  •  Cambridge  •  Arundel Castle  •  Olney, Bucks  •  Wantage and the Country of Alfred the Great  •  Canterbury and Its Cathedral  •  Reculvers  •  Oxford  •  Midhurst  •  Pevensey Castle  •  Savernake Forest  •  Ely Cathedral  •  St. Ives, Huntingdonshire  •  Winchelsea and Rye  •  Blenheim Palace  •  Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland  •  Peterborough  •  Southampton  •  Helmingham Hall  •  Stonehenge, Wiltshire  •  Netley Abbey  •  Salisbury and Its Cathedral  •  Sandwich, Kent  •  New Forest, Hampshire  •  Osborne House  •  Carisbrooke Castle  •  Lutterworth  •  Compton Wynyates  •  Kenilworth Castle  •  Belvoir Castle  •  Bath  •  Boston and the Pilgrim Fathers  •  Warwick  •  Gloucester and Its Cathedral  •  Norfolk Broads  •  Norwich Cathedral  •  Lichfield  •  Sherborne and Its Abbey Church  •  Newark  •  Wells and Its Cathedral  •  Stratford-On-Avon  •  Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk  •  Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire  •  Corfe Castle  •  Lincoln and Its Cathedral  •  Somerset, the Birthplace of Tennyson  •  Glastonbury Abbey  •  Walsingham, Norfolk  •  Cheddar Caves, Cheddar, Somerset  •  Newstead Abbey  •  The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances  •  Tintern Abbey  •  Chesterfield, Derbyshire  •  Dukeries  •  Haddon Hall, Derbyshire  •  The Isle of Athelney, and Sedgemoor  •  Raglan Castle  •  Dovedale  •  Wellington and the Wrekin, Shropshire  •  Wroxeter and the Roman City of Uriconium, Salop  •  Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire  •  Ludlow and Its Castle  •  Shrewsbury  •  Buxton and the Peak District  •  Tewkesbury  •  Exeter and Its Cathedral  •  Market Drayton, Salop  •  Chester  •  Exmoor  •  Knutsford  •  Torr Steps On the Barle, Somerset  •  Cleeve Abbey, Somerset  •  Hawarden  •  York Minster  •  Coxwold, Yorkshire  •  Llangollen and Valle Crucis Abbey  •  Knaresborough, Dripping Well  •  Fountains Abbey  •  Ripon Cathedral  •  Dartmoor  •  Haworth  •  Rievaulx Abbey  •  Brixham, Devon  •  Conway Castle  •  The Doone Valley, Exmoor  •  Llandovery, South Wales  •  Dartmouth, Devon  •  Richmond, Yorkshire  •  Tintagel  •  Whitby  •  Carnarvon Castle  •  Plymouth  •  Durham and Its Cathedral  •  Raby Castle, Durham  •  Snowdon  •  Harlech Castle  •  Grasmere and Rydal Mount  •  The Lake District  •  St. Davids Cathedral  •  Furness Abbey, Lancashire  •  Monkwearmouth, Near Jarrow  •  The Isle of Man  •  Brantwood  •  Fowey  •  Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall  •  The Lake District  •  Keswick  •  Alnwick Castle  •  Lanercost Priory, Cumberland  •  Lanercost Priory and Stepping-Stones.]  •  St. Ives, Cornwall  •  Bamborough Castle, Northumberland

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What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association,
By Gordon Home
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