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Utopia Britannica

British Utopian Experiments 1325 - 1945

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SUSSEX

Brighton Co-operative trading association. C1819
FOUNDER/LEADER: Dr William King
Dr King was an early advocate of using the profits of small retail co-operatives to set up communities. A group of working people inspired by his ideas set up a society and after successfully running a grocery business took a lease on 28 acres of land some 9 miles from Brighton, where they ran a garden/nursery employing 4 or 5 of their members who lived on site and took their meals communally.
GRID REF: Location unknown
REF: British Co-operative Movement

Lindfield Colony 1823-1833
FOUNDER/LEADER: William Allen
Land colony set up on the 100 acre Graveley estate by Quaker William Allen. The estate was divided into plots provided with a cottage, wood-house, wash-house, bakehouse and piggery. The colony also had its own school, workshops and printing press on which it produced its own newspaper. Allen's school still survives as a private house, and the colony is remembered in the names of Allen Road, America Lane & Hanbury Park.
GRID REF: TQ363253
REF: Villages of Vision / Heavens Below

Sussex General Trading Association 1828
Owenite co-operative society set up to accumulated profits for the purchase of land to set up a community.
GRID REF: Location Unknown
REF: Co-operation & Owenite Socialist Communities.

'Abode of Love' C1844
Large house where the Rev Prince gathered together a small band of followers prior to moving to Spaxton.
GRIDREF:Location Unknown Weymouth
REF: The Reverend Prince and his Abode of Love. C. Mander. EP Publishing.1976.

Smallholding Colony 1896
'Projected' co-operative smallholding scheme announced by J.Kenworthy at a conference on 'Land Co-operation and the Unemployed' at Holborn Town Hall. The scheme was to supply a co-operative centre in Croydon.
GRID REF: Horeham Rd Sussex?
REF: Roses & Revolutionists. N.Todd.

Heritage Craft School 1903
A spin off from the Bermondsey Settlement, set up by Grace Kimmins under the banner of the "Guild of the Brave Poor Things". The Heritage Craft Schools and Hospitals for Cripples believed that disabled children could not be trained to their full capacity in city slums and so set up residential schools in the country. The Guild motto was "Happy in My Lot."
GRID REF: TQ393194 Chailey
REF: Independent Women


Ditchling Artists Colony 1907-24?
FOUNDER/LEADER: Eric Gill
Starting with the Gill family house, Sopers, a small colony of artists grew up in the village. Following WW1 Gill set up a distinct community - a sort of self-sufficent monastic Craft Guild. The looser artists’ colony continued after Gill moved to Wales.
GRID REF: TQ326151
REF:Eric Gill F.MacCarthy/Utopian England

Womens Co-operative Farmers Ltd 1916 - 1918?
Farm divided into smallholdings. Took in COs during WW1.
GRID REF:LocationUnknown East Sussex
REF: A Question of Concience

'The Sanctuary' 1923- 30s?
FOUNDER/LEADER: Miss V. Pagnall
Community started by Miss Pagnell a mystical Christian socialist (inspired by Edward Carpenter), who bought land using her inheritance and gave away plots to anyone who cared to live there. One resident was anarchist W.C.Owen, another was Dion Byngham ex-leading light in the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry. Miss Pagnell tolerated ("but did not encourage") naturism, `free love' and paganism.
GRID REF: Nr Storrington
REF: Freedom:A Hundred Years. Freedom Press/The Triumph of the Moon.

Sidlesham 1935 - 82?
Land Settlement Association smallholding scheme. (See Chawston Beds.)
GRID REF: SZ857982
REF : Colin Ward D&D 94/95

 
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