For decades historians struggled to identify this cottage as the original home of the leader of the Tolpuddle Martyrs.

The home of George Loveless, leader of the men who founded the modern trade movement, was thought to have been pulled down.

But in 2009 it was claimed to have been this cottage in Tolpuddle.

George Loveless is credited with leading the outlawed agricultural workers’ society in the 1830s.

In a 1934 interview with a Mrs Hammett, believed to be a niece of one of the martyrs, she said the Loveless’ cottage had been pulled down.

However, using historical data and early maps, historian Dr Andrew Norman made a startling discovery.

“There is, indeed, a property at the place in question – so-called Pixies Cottage – an ancient, listed building,” he says.

“It is, therefore, proved beyond reasonable doubt, that this was where the Loveless family lived, and that Mrs Hammett was mistaken in believing that their cottage had been pulled down.”

Dorset Echo:

Dr Andrew Norman

Pixies Cottage is in Main Street, Tolpuddle, not far from the villages’ martyrs museum.

The martyrs were sentenced to seven years in the Australian penal colonies after swearing a secret oath to an organisation protesting against low wages.

Today Tolpuddle hosts an annual festival, attracting thousands of trade union members from around the world.

Dorset Echo:

The Story of George Loveless and the Tolpuddle Martyrs is available from the online Tolpuddle Museum and Shop for £12.99. See