The Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Tree Dorchester
National Trust
Dorset DT2

 

On the village green in Tolpuddle is a large sycamore tree under National Trust protection. It is known as ‘The Martyrs Tree’.
 
We know that in 1833, against a background of falling wages and harsh employment laws, the Tolpuddle Martyrs met in an attempt to form one of the world's first trade unions.
 
We also know that this meeting took place under a large sycamore tree on the village green and led to their arrest, trial, deportation, pardon and ultimately, the foundation of the Trade Union Movement.
 
This tree started life in the 1680's
It is not known if this is actually the meeting tree but it could be. The tree was dated for the first time in 2005 by the National Trust. Using special dating techniques, it was possible to work out that the sycamore tree (Acer pseudoplatanus) is likely to have started its life in the 1680s, more than 150 years before the Tolpuddle Martyrs' meeting.
 
Whatever the truth, the tree is the largest sycamore tree in Dorset.
 
The National Trust cares for a number of significant historical trees across Britain. Find out where they are by visiting Web:   National Trust Heritage Trees 
 
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Getting There
Tolpuddle is between Poole and Dorchester. Take the A435 turning off at the signs to Tolpuddle.
 
Google Map - Tolpuddle Martyrs' Tree