THERE’S a chance this summer to visit the dark cells where the Tolpuddle Martyrs languished before trial.

You can stand in the dock in the Old Crown Court in Dorchester where they were sentenced to transportation and even pretend to be the judge and bang the gavel, condemning them to their doom.

The atmospheric 50-minute guided tours are suitable for all ages, providing you can manage stairs. There’s the added benefit of free entry for children under 14 (adults’ tickets cost £4).

Tours take place at 11am and noon every Monday, Wednesday and Friday throughout August. You can book your place at Dorchester TIC, telephone 01305 267 992 or email Judge Jeffreys, the infamous hanging judge, is the theme for two days of free walk-in art workshops with artist Darrell Wakelam at Shire Hall.

Darrell will be making large-scale sculptures, masks and models out of recycled scrap materials.

These exciting sessions are suitable for families with children of all ages and you can drop in, no need to book. Stay for a whole day or just look in for 10 minutes, whatever suits, though you may find that once in the door, your kids are hooked! Sessions take place on Monday, 18 and Wednesday, 20 August from 10am to noon and 2pm to 4pm.

Darrell, who lives in Lyme Regis, is a professional artist who has spent almost 25 years working in schools and other educational establishments.

Susie Alegre will be talking on ‘Human Rights – a Tolpuddle Martyrs’ perspective’ at the Justice Café on Friday, August 22 at 7pm. Susie specialises in human rights, criminal justice reform and counter-terrorism.

She provides expert opinions to the European Parliament on criminal justice issues and is a human rights consultant for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Book at the Dorchester TIC, or just turn up on the night – entry is free and donations are welcome.