Trantridge (Pentridge) Church

As Tess travels to "the manor of her bogus kinsfolk," she passes near "Trantridge," "the parish in which the vague and mysterious Mrs. d'Urberville had her residence." In the story, "The Slopes," where she lives with her son, Alec, is near "Trantridge" and on the borders of Cranborne Chase. No one has been able to find a dwelling near Pentridge that fits the description of "The Slopes."





The Flower-de-Luce (Fleur de Lys) in Cranborne

The "Flower-de-Luce" is where Alec finds Tess waiting for her companions after the dance on the fateful night that he forces himself on her in Cranborne Chase, and she becomes as much a prey as the harts of old in the Vale of Blackmoor. (Norton Critical Edition, "The Maiden," X, 55)

The Froom (Frome) Valley (the Valley of the Big Dairies), where Tess goes to start a new life after the death of her illegitimate child

"It was two hours, owing to sundry wrong turnings, ere she found herself on a summit commanding the long-sought-for vale, the Valley of the Great Dairies, the valley in which milk and butter grew to rankness, and were produced more profusely, if less delicately, than at her home-the verdant plain so well watered by the river Var or Froom." ("The Rally," XVI, 86-7)





The Froom Valley

"It was intrinsically different from the Vale of Little Dairies, Blackmoor Vale, which . . . she had exclusively known till now. The world was drawn to a larger pattern here. The enclosures numbered fifty acres instead of ten, the farmsteads more extended, the groups of cattle formed tribes hereabout; there only families. These myriads of cows stretching under her eyes from the far east to the far west outnumbered any she had ever seen at a glance before. The green lea was speckled as thickly with them as a canvas by Van Alsloot or Sallaert with burghers. The ripe hue of the red and dun kine absorbed the evening sunlight, which the white-coated animals returned to the eye in rays almost dazzling, event at the distant elevation on which she stood." ("The Rally," XVI, 87)


The Froom Valley

"The river itself, which nourished the grass and cows of these renowned dairies, flowed not like the streams of Blackmoor. Those were slow, silent, often turbid; flowing over beds of mud into which the incautious wader might sink and vanish unawares. The Froom waters were clear as the pure River of Life shown to the Evangelist, rapid as the shadow of a cloud, with pebbly shallows that prattled to the sky all day long. There the water-flower was the lily; the crowfoot here." ("The Rally," XVI, 87)





A Dairy in the Froom Valley

"Either the change in the quality of the air from heavy to light, or the sense of being amid new scenes where there were no invidious eyes upon her, sent her spirits up wonderfully. Her hopes mingled with the sunshine in an ideal photosphere which surrounded her as she bounded along against the soft south wind. She heard a pleasant voice in every breeze, and in every bird's not seemed to lurk a joy. . . . The irresistible, universal, automatic tendency to find sweet pleasure somewhere, which pervades all life, from the meanest to the highest, had a length mastered Tess." ("The Rally," XVI, 87)

Dairyman Crick's (Lower Lewell Farm), where Tess meets Angel Clare

"The dairymaids and men had flocked down from their cottages and out of the dairy-house with the arrival of the cows from the meads; the maids wading in pattens, not on account of the weather, but to keep their shoes above the mulch of the barton [grange]. Each girl sat down on her three-legged stool, her face sideways, her right cheek resting against the cow; and looked musingly along the animal's flank at Tess as she approached." ("The Rally," XVII, 90)

Dairyman Crick's or Talbothays

Tess's room at Dairyman Crick's?

"Only two or three of the maids, Tess learnt, slept in the diary-house besides herself; most of the helpers going to their homes. She saw nothing at supper-time of the superior milker . . . the remainder of the evening being occupied in arranging her place in the bed-chamber. It was a large room over the milkhouse, some thirty feet long; the sleeping-cots of the other three indoor milkmaids being in the same apartment." ("The Rally," XVII, 95)

Principal sources:

Herman Lea, Thomas Hardy's Wessex, (3rd Edition, Toucan Press, 1969)

F. B. Pinion, A Hardy Companion, (Macmillan & St. Martin's Press, 1968)

Page Three