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“Worth a visit, never mind your politics”

Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum
Ranked #11 of 44 things to do in Dorchester
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 24 August 2014

This was an interesting museum, whatever your politics. Small museum showing how freedom to join a union was seen as a threat in 19th Century Dorset. Showed how what we may take for granted now was hard won.

2  Thank Suzanne G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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112 - 116 of 161 reviews

Reviewed 13 August 2014

if you are a Trades unionist of just interested in UK history, then visit to see the story of the oppressed farmers of the day.
On leaving you will be educated, but aside from reading numerous banners and text, not a lot else to see. My son left within a few minutes!

However, the comments I make should be read whilst appreciating that there is no fee to enter, and the museum doesn't claim to be a Smithsonian Institute!
They have done what the can to make a smart historical reflection on a terrible time in history.

2  Thank Christopher T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2014

This was our second visit to what is a surprisingly small Museum, when you consider the impact of the event which gave rise to it all.

On this occasion we visited without the children and were able to take the time to read in detail the various presentations, diary extracts and listen to various audio pieces.

Its quite a small visitor area and to fully appreciate the experience involves lots of quiet reading, so probably not ideal for younger families. I certainly gained a greater appreciation of the social divisions extant at the time and the day to day struggles of the agricultural labourers during this second visit!!

1  Thank Robin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2014

The entrance fees are a little pricey on Friday and Saturday 15 quid a piece and a fiver for parking.
So you are better attending Sundays as it's free entry.
This show of union solidarity is held every year in the sleepy village of Tolpuddle when this little village comes alive and is adorned by union banners and is a warming display of friendly unity.
The event commemorates the Tolpuddle Martyrs who were put on trial at the nearby Dorchester assizes, which is very worth a visit in it's own right. Anyway the six Tolpuddle Martyrs were meted out a very harsh nineteenth century sentence just for getting together and asking for a pay rise, their reward for this was Transportation to Australia.
These six men were tried by an establishment that was governed by the rich and powerful of the day, who didn't believe in the rights of the common man. I could go on and on but I'll leave it to you the viewer to seek further information on this very moving story.
"We raise the watchword,liberty. We will, we will, we will be free!"
These words were scribbled by one of the Martyrs who's name was George Loveless in his grim gaol awaiting trial in Dorchester assizes.
The Tolpuddle Martyrs case received public backing via a remarkable for the day 800, 000 strong petition, which the government of the day refused to except.
It took a further six years of campaigning before the six were pardoned.
I would recommend attendance of this annual event to honour the bravery of these six men and besides which it's a rollicking good day out and great food for the human spirit.

Thank Tony G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2014

I have previously reviewed the museum which is really worth a visit, but there is far more to Tolpuddle than just the museum. Every around this time a weekend festival is held, with camping available and live band every evening. The festival is to celebrate the Martyrs of Tolpuddle and on the Sunday a March takes place along the narrow streets of the village, with hundreds of banners being flown. If you can't do the weekend try and do the Sunday you won't regret it.

2  Thank RonA_Plymouth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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