The Architectural Heritage Fund is delighted to learn that the Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust (TOCT) has received development funding of £63,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its renovation project in Tolpuddle. The project aims to renovate the two hundred year old Grade II* former Methodist chapel in Tolpuddle.
This former Methodist Chapel, built in 1818, is important because of its associations with the Tolpuddle Martyrs, at least four of whom used it as a place of worship. It is believed that one of the Martyrs, George Loveless, was a lay preacher in the chapel.
The project aims to renovate and extend the former chapel to provide the potential for the appropriate re-use of the building as a 'quiet place in the heart of this historic Dorset village', for visitors, and to provide the location for activities, exhibitions and community use.
The Architectural Heritage Fund played an instrumental role in the setting up of the Building Preservation Trust which helped to secure the future of this long-standing Heritage At Risk site and has granted 3 rounds of funding since 2014 totalling £24,000.
This new round-one funding from HLF together with in-principle support for the delivery stage of £329,300 allows the Trust to produce detailed plans for the renovation and repair of the former chapel, as well as creating interpretation and community engagement activities to tell the history of the building and its connection to the Tolpuddle Martyrs.