August 2023 Update

Click here for August Newsletter

Volunteer Recruitment

The role of a volunteer is important in the structure of Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust (TOCT). TOCT is a
volunteer run organisation committed to the preservation of Tolpuddle Old Chapel, a Grade II* vernacular
building with strong links to the Dorchester Labourers (also known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs).
We want to share our building with as many people as possible. To do this we need to run a diverse range of
events and activities to help us generate income to ensure our building stays accessible to future generations.

Click here for details.

Old Chapel Construction Updates

TOCT produces weekly updates about how our renovation works to Tolpuddle Old Capel are progressing. These are available here on our website and on Twitter – @TolpuddleOCT,

We are grateful to TOCT volunteer, Ian Cray, for his splendid two minute videos:

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Easter Greetings

Easter Sunday

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Radical Objects

Congratulations to TOCT Trustee, Philip Martin, for the publication of his research paper.Radical Objects is a long-running and established series within History Workshop Online (HWO) – a digital magazine that seeks to continue the spirit of the History Workshop movement. Click here to see Philip’s article 

Great Progress on Old Chapel Site-Click Here for July_Newsletter.

Alan Gallop RIP

Handing over the Keys

Part 1

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!

Now hear ye this:


Huff and puff – You won’t blow this house down, Wolfie!

It’s not everyday that 3 architects turn up in one go!
Architects, Paul Richold, Robert Battersby & Tori Wales were all on site at Tolpuddle Old Chapel last week to present brick samples in keeping with the 200 year old original Old Chapel walls.


Exquisite Watercolour

What a lovely surprise to receive this exquisite watercolour of Tolpuddle Old Chapel. Dr Rebecca Warren, historian & artist, skilfully captures the essence of the overgrown ‘At Risk’ listed building as it was in 2006.


George Loveless Revisited

As TOCT approaches the start of works to renovate  Tolpuddle Old Chapel, it is exciting to know that one of our Trustees, Professor Philip Martin, is discovering new information about the life of George Loveless, Wesleyan Preacher and an original Trustee of the 1818 chapel.


Chip off the Old Block

The choice of the final cob render brings us nearer to starting our renovation and building work on Tolpuddle Old Chapel.

Thanks to Tobias Carleton-Pragnell of Black Pheasant Consultancy –, for providing the earth render samples.


Moving On

A sincere THANK YOU to our architect, George Tasker, who is moving to a new post after six years working with our project. Together with Paul Richold of Architecton, he has made a major contribution to Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust. 


What Lies Beneath?

Many thanks to Paul Cheetham, Senior Lecturer in Archaeological Science at Bournemouth University for visiting Tolpuddle Old Chapel to carry out an archaeological geophysical survey on our site. This is an exciting opportunity to find out what lies under the ground at this historic site.



Matching the  Cob

Despite the effects of ‘Lockdown’ on our progress, another little piece of the jigsaw puzzle for finding the most suitable cob render to use to renovate the walls of Tolpuddle Old Chapel falls into place. 
Thanks to Tobias Carleton-Prangnell and Historic England for this input.


Revd Stephanie Jenner

TOCT sends a big thank you to Stephanie for her  seven years of service as a TOCT trustee. 


Be a Heritage Detective


Lights of Hope



A lot has been going on recently as shown on the videos below:

September – ‘A stitch in time, saves nine!’

Thanks you to Conservation Builder, Nigel Jaggard, for his prompt response which saved our lovely double Roman tiled roof. The tiles were manufactured by Colthurst & Co of Bridgewater in the late 19th century.

October – Weeping Willow

Visitors to Tolpuddle Old Chapel are used to seeing the lovely willow tree next to the chapel.
Sadly, the tree became dangerous and the owners arranged for it to be pollarded.
This ensures safety on the public highway as well as protecting the roof of the old chapel.

November – Chalk It Up

Tolpuddle Old Chapel was built in 1818 by ‘The Dorsetshire Labourers’ (Tolpuddle Martyrs).
This week two ‘Modern Day Dorsetshire Labourers’, Nigel Jaggard & Luke Mayo, extracted chalk by hand to make cob blocks for the repair of the walls of the old chapel.


December 2020 Update

Click here for December Newsletter

We’re getting there!

We’re getting there! Our recently extracted chalk has arrived at Heritage Cob & Lime in Bideford.


Thanks to conservation builder Nigel Jaggard for arranging transport. Look out for update videos of the manufacture into cob blocks.

Making the chalk blocks – Part 1
Making the chalk blocks – Part 2
Making the chalk blocks – Part 3


Making the chalk blocks – Part 4
Making the chalk blocks – Part5


Delivering blocks – Pt 1
Delivering blocks – Pt 2
Other News:

October 2020

What a lovely photo taken by Emma Greenway of Historic England on a whistle-stop visit to Tolpuddle.

Emma’s comment: “Pit stop at Tolpuddle and finally get to nosey at the @TolpuddleOCT Old Chapel. What a fabulous project and how fantastic it will be to see it come off the At Risk Register soon… “

Virtual Tolpuddle Festival 2020

Click here to view video

July 2020 Update

Click here for July newsletter

Update Easter 2020

Click here to see latest news

Jan/Feb 2020

Planning Progress Report

Blessed are the Meek

Urgent repair needed

Site Visit 11/11/2019

Local Community poet…

…….celebrates TOCT funding success with a poem for National Poetry Day.

Good News

Click below for some very good news

Click here to see Slideshow of 2019 Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

A Big Thank You to our Funders – March 2019

Click here to view latest information:

Latest Donantion
A big thank you to Meyts Structural Consulting for generously donating £450 to TOCT,

Every donation, big or small, helps TOCT reach our target and save the Old Chapel.


We are waiting for news from 5 Charitable Trusts.

Thank You.
TOCT Trustees.

Chapel 200 year anniversary


Local folk singer inspired by Chapel

Click below to hear Rick Potter play his composition inspired by the Chapel:


Artist’s surprise visit to Tolpuddle

Liam O’Farrell is a well known artist based in Somerset, He paints in watercolour and oils and loves history and architecture.

He visited Tolpuddle Old Chapel on Bank Holiday Monday 2018 and painted this picture.

Liam has kindly donated the original to TOCT

Liam’s work can be viewed at

and on Twitter: @liams_art

“A fine sunny day to paint the beautiful Tolpuddle Village in Dorset – the origin of the Tolpuddle martyrs and British Trade unionism. This is the old Methodist chapel.”

BBC Radio Solent Breakfast in Dorset – 10th April 2018

Tolpuddle chapel revamp plan for 200th anniversary, The trust is hoping to raise almost a quarter of a million pounds to save a former chapel used by the Tolpuddle Martyrs – click to hear

David Willey from the Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust says it’s a significant building.