Tolpuddle Martyrs Chapel Set For Renovation

There are so many wonderful heritage projects receiving lottery cash. Here at Powerball Magazine, we like to think we’re at the forefront of showing how lottery players help projects in your local area. Now, in a recent announcement, one of the country’s most important small chapels is about to receive money for restoration. A chapel linked to Dorset rebels known as The Tolpuddle Martyrs has received a first wave of cash and “in principle” a larger fund for restoration. Two of the men contributed to building the Tolpuddle Martyrs Chapel. It later became part of their lore.

Tolpuddle Martyrs Chapel in Dorset set for renovation

By Adam Bishop (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

About The Tolpuddle Martyrs Chapel

Located in the Dorset village of Tolpuddle, the quiet and unassuming chapel has an important history. It may not look like much, but its links to the Tolpuddle Martyrs makes it an important local and national icon. Their crime was to (illegally at the time) organise a work union for Dorset farmers. The story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs is one inextricably linked to the rise of worker’s rights in Britain towards the end of the Industrial Revolution. Some working conditions were appalling; something that campaigners wanted government to address. Others such as the Luddites went to extreme measures.

The chapel is set to receive an initial grant of £65,000 with a further £300,000 later. The final grant agreed in principle is awaiting confirmation, but the Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust is confident in the restoration. The Martyrs made an important stand in the late 19th century that still resonates for employment rights today. That is why TOCT plan education space within the chapel. Plans include an exhibition as well as use as a “quiet place” for the town’s residents. Further community engagement will put the building’s importance back at the heart of Dorset life.

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