It is hard to write about the history of Dorset and not include Thomas Hardy. A Victorian poet and author, he grew up in the county watching life live within the landscape. Highly influenced by the unforgiving heathland and relentless toil of the soil he created stories that immortalised fictitious characters that lived in a real world. Places we see today come to life in the stories that he told over a century ago.
However, there is another Thomas Hardy who is no less important. The Admiral Hardy, who was there to kiss Nelson when he died. He grew up Dorset and a monument erected by his ancestors can be seen for miles across Dorset.