Plans to make repairs to Max Gate

Plans to make repairs to Max Gate

Published by Maria Greenwood at 12:01am 1st March 2020.

Town councillors in Dorchester have welcomed the proposal to rebuild damaged sections of the wall around Thomas Hardy’s Max Gate home.

The National Trust has applied to Dorset Council for permission to carry out the work at the Alington Avenue Listed Grade 1 property which was built in 1885.

A 15-metre long section of wall to the right of the entrance and around the corner into Syward Road has become unstable of the past ten years and is now leaning in places.

Thomas Hardy wall

The Trust says it will carefully dismantle the 1.6 metre tall wall where needed and rebuilt it with the original bricks, bedded in lime mortar.

Some sections may need to be reinforced with stainless steel and concrete lintels in places within the foundations to bridge the roots of significant trees.

Hardy lives in the house, which he designed himself, until his death in 1928.

Thomas Hardy wall

He took the name for the property from a tollhouse which once stood in the area and was run by the Dorchester and Wool Turnpike Trust, the tollhouse was kept at one point by a man known locally as ‘Mack’. The tollhouse is labelled as Max Gate on an early Ordnance Survey map.

The wall around the house is mainly original although sections of it were rebuilt in the 1960s with the construction of the new A352 and the present Max Gate roundabout.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter