Melbury Osmond is approached along a winding, sunken lane, with thatched stone cottages lining the slopes. This crosses the watersplash, a shallow paved ford crossed by a small footbridge. In spring and summer, it is covered with flowers and fern. The village is closely associated with Thomas Hardy’s parents. They married here in St. Osmund’s Church in 1839. Their framed marriage certificate can be seen inside on the wall of the church. Jemima, Hardy’s Mother, lived here as a child, in the thatched house near the churchyard.
Thomas Hardy called this village, ‘Great and Kings Hintock’. The church features in the final scene of his novel, ‘The Woodlanders’. Several short stories including, ‘A changed Man’ and ‘Interlopers at the Knap’, are set in the village.