Far from the madding crowd
A quiet and rural place.
This phrase is best known as the title of one of Thomas Hardy's most successful novels. Hardy took the title from Thomas Gray's poem - Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, 1751:
'Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.'
'Madding' - a word hardly ever used outside this expression.
It is possible that Gray was also alluding to earlier works: by William Drummond, circa 1614:
"Farre from the madding Worldlings hoarse discords."
or by Edmund Spenser, 1579:
"But now from me hys madding mynd is starte, And woes the Widdowes daughter of the glenne."
Whether Gray was referring to a specific churchyard isn't clear. It is well recorded though that Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard was written, at least in part, in a churchyard at Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire.