It might be thought that when Thomas Hardy stepped aside from his narrative in Jude The Obscure to describe Shaston, or Shaftesbury, “on the summit of a steep and imposing scarp, rising … out of the deep alluvial vale of Blackmoor” as “one of the queerest and quaintest spots in England”, he was being unduly fanciful.
But if, today, you turn aside from St John’s Hill, close to that summit, in to a small enclosed space beside the road and take in the sight of the ancient yew before you, its limbs spreading out wide and close to the ground above scattered headstones, then look ahead towards the sheer drop into the expanse of the vale, you do catch a sense of the local magic and feel you are indeed in a special place.
Via The Guardian: http://gu.com/p/4fe4d/stw
Plans for a housing development near the old home of Dorset author Thomas Hardy have been dropped.
Kingston Maurward College wanted to build 70 houses on parkland at Lower Bockhampton, near Dorchester.
It said “several important issues” were raised during the consultation and it was withdrawing the plans.
The Open Spaces Society, which had campaigned against the development, said Hardy would have “breathed a sigh of relief”.
The author was born at Higher Bockhampton in 1840, and wrote Far from the Madding Crowd there.
Looking forward to this. Spring 2015.