Thomas Hardy was born in Higher Bockhampton, a small village just three miles outside Dorchester, in 1840. When he was eight, he went to a local school in the town and in 1856, by the time he was 16, he started working for John Hicks, a local architect whose offices were at 39 South Street, Dorchester.
THOMAS HARDY STATUE - COLLITON WALK
In 1861, he moved to London to work as an architect's assistant, remaining in the city until 1867. In 1871 at the age of 31, having moved back to Dorset, he then published his first novel, Desperate Remedies. Two more novels, Pair of Blue Eyes and Under the Greenwood Tree, quickly followed in 1872 and 1873. A
year later he married Emma Gifford, and in the same year became a full time writer. He designed the house Max Gate, which was built by his brother on the edge of Dorchester, in 1885.
He went on to write a number of novels, and in his later life went on to write eight volumes of poetry, his last being Winter Words, in 1928, the year he died, aged 87.
A statue of Hardy, sculpted by Eric Kennington, was erected in 1931, and is located at the top of town in Dorchester.