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Steele Raymond supports restoration of historic chapel


Leading Dorset commercial law firm Steele Raymond LLP is proud to have supported the newly formed charity Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust (TOCT) in its quest to restore a treasured piece of Dorset’s heritage.

Steele Raymond’s top tier property team provided legal advice on the charity’s acquisition of the former Methodist chapel, Tolpuddle, built in 1818, and attended for worship by some of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. The building is grade II* listed and is on the English Heritage ‘buildings at risk register’.

It is hoped that it can now be sympathetically renovated in time for the 200th anniversary of its opening in 2018. Emergency repairs, funded by English Heritage, to stabilise the cob walls and to make the building watertight and windproof, have already begun this week. Later this year The Trust intend to consult Tolpuddle residents and other interested parties as to possible future uses of the renovated building and its site.

Steele Raymond Partner Sue Adams said:

“We were delighted to offer our expertise in support of this project and it was a privilege to team up with other supporters including English Heritage, the Architectural Heritage Fund, Dorset County Council, and Bridport and Dorchester Methodist Circuit. Due to the building’s historical significance the project inevitably involved certain legal complexities which the team at Steele Raymond are well qualified to deal with. We’ll now look forward to seeing Tolpuddle Old Chapel Trust preserve and renovate this important piece of local and national heritage for future generations.”

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