Our Thanksgiving Day/Birthday itinerary was ambitious! Our first stop was Higher Bockhampton to see Thomas Hardy's birthplace, an endearing cottage at the end of a gravel lane. The house and gardens were closed to the public, but John-our-Guide had arranged for us to get in. Though absent from the pictures, the National Trust workers were busily engaged in the garden. (You can read all about Hardy's life and works on Wikipedia.)
Thomas Hardy's Cottage
Katie and the Hollyhock
Here We Are in Autumn's Glory
Then it was on to Stinsford where the heart of Thomas Hardy is buried.
Thomas Hardy's Gravestone
Interior of Stinsford Church
Going on to East Coker, we saw the 17th century almshouses and St. Michael's church where the ashes of the poet T.S. Eliot are buried in a corner of the church. Eliot, though born in St. Louis, Missouri, became a citizen of Great Britain and was buried in East Coker where his ancestors once lived.
St. Michael's Church at East Coker
Churchyard at St. Michael's
At John's behest, Katie and I sang a hymn ("How Great Thou Art") and Grant was persuaded to read Eliot's "The Hollow Men." Very moving.
"How Great Thou Art"
We spent the noon hour in Dorchester, the real-life counterpart of Hardy's town of Casterbridge, but I don't seem to have any pictures, quite a shame, really because it was quite pleasant.
More of our day to come: Glastonbury!