Hardy's Wessex: Coastal Wessex - love and war


High Street, POOLE, Dorset, BH15 1BW

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Promotion image for Hardy's Wessex: The landscapes that inspired a writer. Dorset countryside with Hardy's portrait.


Hardy's Wessex: The landscapes that inspired a writer

This major exhibition will be across four venues – Poole Museum, Dorset Museum, The Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum. With each exhibition exploring a different theme and a star object on loan from a national museum. 

It is the largest collection of Thomas Hardy objects ever displayed at one time, with many of the objects never been on public display before. 

Each exhibition takes a fresh look at the Victorian novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, in the stunning Wessex landscapes that shaped his view of the world. His story will be retold in exciting new ways by our museum collections, from period costumes to personal letters, art to archaeology, that give personal insights into Thomas Hardy's life. 

Pick up a discount voucher when you visit, and use it to get a generous 25% off the entrance price to one of the other Hardy exhibitions.  

Coastal Wessex - love and war

Visit Poole Museum and experience the romance of the coastline which inspired Thomas Hardy’s writing. This exhibition explores the coastal themes in Hardy’s life – from first meeting his wife Emma on the wild cliffs of Cornwall, to his fascination with the Napoleonic wars.

See the difference between Hardy’s romanticised views of love and war in his early life, to his portrayal of the realities of both in his later writings.

The star object for this exhibtion is Weymouth Bay an oil painting from 1816 by Constable, on loan from The Victoria and Albert Museum. 



Opening Times

Hardy's Wessex: The landscapes that inspired a writer (28 May 2022 - 30 Oct 2022)

* Ticket prices 
Adult (Age 16+) -  £5 
Students (showing a valid ID card) - £4
Child (under 16) - FREE (No unaccompanied children under the age of 14 permitted)
Poole Museum Foundation Members - FREE
Art Fund Pass - £2.50

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