In 1934 the TUC decide to build a lasting tribute to the Tolpuddle Martyrs by building six cottages to accommodate retired agricultural trade unionists. A levy of a farthing per member was collected from unions and land was bought on the edge of the village. The TUC had electricity brought to Tolpuddle and a new well was dug. The cottages were designed to high standards for artisan dwellings.
The cottages were formally opened as part of the grand festival of activities to mark the centenary since the martyrs’ arrests.
Who lives there?
The Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Memorial Trust owns the cottages. Run and supported financially by the TUC, the charity trustees agree the terms for future residents. Back in 1934 many farm workers faced eviction from tied accommodation when they retired. So it was fitting to provide cottages for those who were particularly vulnerable because of trade union activities.