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St. John the Evangelist Tolpuddle

Not very long ago the village street of Tolpuddle was the main road from Wimborne to Dorchester and daily carried a huge number of vehicles. However, since the arrival of the magnificent dual carriageway to the north, the road has returned to its original purpose and is now a relatively quiet byway.

The stone and flint church is mainly C12 and stands in a generous churchyard to the south of the road. It has a plain Norman south doorway and the lower parts of the somewhat slender tower are C13. The chancel is late C13, but was altered by T.H.Wyatt in 1855. The very impressive tie-beam roof of the nave is thought to be C14.

The village will for ever be associated with the Tolpuddle Martyrs who lived here. In 1834, after a series of poor harvests, it was the reduction from the barely survivable wage of seven shillings a week to the starvation level of six shillings that propelled a group of Friendly Society labourers into forming the first trade union.  Not in itself an offense, but the thoroughly rattled landowners, led by James Frampton of Moreton House, saw to it that they were illegally convicted of a naval regulation forbidding secret oaths and had them transported to Australia .  As everyone knows, there was a public outcry and the Home Secretary was forced to issue a free pardon.  After returning, some of the men emigrated to Canada, but James Hammett returned to live in the village before dying in 1891. He is buried in the churchyard under a gravestone lettered by the eminent artist, Eric Gill.

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

 

Grants

Grant date Reason Amount Extra amount Extra reason
01/10/18 12:00 amRewiring (Using previous grant for roof) with the previous grant from 2016 now being carried forward for a further 3 years for this new project£10,000
01/02/16 12:00 am£5,000£5,000NCT (National Churches Trust) Partnership Grant

Churches Nearby

Ref Title Town Postcode Distance
St. John the EvangelistTolpuddleDT2 7EW0
St LaurenceAffpuddleDT2 7HH1
St LaurenceAffpuddleDT2 7HH1
St. Edward King and MartyrAthelhamptonDT2 7LG1
St. AndrewMilborne Saint AndrewDT11 0JR2
St. John the EvangelistTincletonDT2 8QR2
St.MaryPuddletownDT2 8SN2
All SaintsDewlishDT2 7LR2
St. NicholasMoretonDT2 8RH3
St. John the BaptistBere RegisBH20 7HQ3
Moreton - under constructionMoretonDT2 8RH4
St. MartinCheselbourneDT2 7NJ4
St Aldhelm'sCrosswaysDT2 8WR4
St JamesMilton AbbasDT11 0BW5
St. NicholasWinterborne KingstonDT11 9BJ5
St. AndrewBinghams MelcombeDT2 7PZ5
Milton AbbeyMilton AbbasDT11 0BZ5
St Catherine's ChapelMilton AbbasDT11 0BZ5
St. AndrewWest StaffordDT2 8AD5
St. Mary the VirginPiddlehintonDT2 7TE5
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