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The Church of St John the Evangelist, Tolpuddle - - 1592503.jpg
Parish Church of St John the Evangelist
Tolpuddle is located in Dorset
Tolpuddle shown within Dorset
Population420 [1]
OS grid referenceSY792944
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
FireDorset and Wiltshire
AmbulanceSouth Western
EU ParliamentSouth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°44′58″N 2°17′46″W / 50.7495°N 2.2962°W / 50.7495; -2.2962Coordinates: 50°44′58″N 2°17′46″W / 50.7495°N 2.2962°W / 50.7495; -2.2962

Tolpuddle ( /ˈtɒlpʌdəl/) is a village in Dorset, England, on the River Piddle 8 miles (13 km) east of Dorchester, the county town, and 12 miles (19 km) west of Poole. The estimated population in 2013 was 420.[1]

The village is famous as the home of the Tolpuddle Martyrs who were sentenced to be transported to Australia after they formed a friendly society in 1833. A row of cottages, housing agricultural workers and a museum, and a row of seated statues commemorate the martyrs. The annual Tolpuddle Martyrs festival is held in the village in the third weekend of July. An ancient sycamore tree on the village green, known as the Martyrs' Tree, is said to be the place where the Martyrs swore their oath. It is cared for by the National Trust.[2]

Tolpuddle has a public house, The Martyrs Inn, which is owned by nearby Athelhampton House, a Tudor house open to the public approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) to the west.

Tolpuddle parish church is dedicated to St John the Evangelist and dates from the 13th century.[3]

In 1999, the A35 trunk road, which cuts through south Dorset, was moved to bypass the village.

The Green at Tolpuddle. It is believed that whilst sitting under this sycamore tree, the six Tolpuddle Martyrs agreed to form a trade union


  • Pitt-Rivers, Michael, 1969. Dorset. London: Faber & Faber.


  1. ^ a b "Parish Population Data". Dorset County Council. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Tolpuddle Martyrs village tree pruning carried out". BBC News. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  3. ^ West Dorset Holiday and Tourist Guide. West Dorset District Council. c. 1983. p. 21.

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