Tolpuddle, near Dorchester – home of the Tolpuddle Martyrs
Historic village famous for the six Tolpuddle Martyrs: early trade union activists who in 1834 were unjustly sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia for the illegal swearing of oaths. At least four, possibly five, were Methodists and three were preachers.
The Martyrs' Chapel, built in 1818, still stands but has not been used as a chapel since 1844 when the lease expired. It is a Grade II* listed building on the English Heritage at Risk Register, but today it is privately owned and presently not accessible to the public.
At the eastern end of the village, in front of the Methodist chapel (built in 1862), stands a memorial arch from 1912. The memorial arch is a listed monument.
The grave of James Hammett, the only Tolpuddle Martyr to re-settle in the village after being pardoned, is in St John's churchyard, with a headstone carved by Eric Gill. Also in Tolpuddle is the site of the tree, unfortunately now just a stump, under which the Martyrs famously met.
The Martyrs' Museum is at the western end of the village, along with the TUC Memorial Cottages, which were built in 1934 on the centenary of the Martyrs' conviction. There is also a modern commemorative sculpture, which was built in 2000.
Getting there [SY 798943]