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Utopia Britannica

British Utopian Experiments 1325 - 1945

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Kidderminster Co-operative Independant Land Association. 1847
The Kidderminster Co-operative Independant Land Association was reported by the Worcestershire Chronicle in October 1847 as meeting at the Fish Inn in Orchard Street. It was reported that they had purchased the Hoboro or Hooborough Estate near Castle Hill in the parish of Wolverley. It was their intention to locate 25 or 30 families on the "O'Connor system". It is also reported a short time later that they had made a purchase of an estate in the Wyre Forest.
GRID REF: Location Unknown
REF: Kidderminster Rebels website

Mathon 1848
The Mathon estate was surveyed and an offer made for it by O'Connor for Chartist smallholdings, but the purchase was never completed
GRID REF: SO 730453
REF: The Chartist Land Company.

Great Dodford 1848 - 51
Last of the Chartist estates set up almost in defiance as the Land Company fell apart.. The 40 smallholdings were allocated by auction, rather than lottery. No school was provided as on other estates and supplies of seeds were restricted due to lack of funds. After the end of the Chartist Land company the smallholdings were more successful than elsewhere due to their closeness to markets in Birmingham
GRID REF: SO 931730
REF: The Chartist Land Company

(Rosedene cottage at Great Dodford has been purchased by the National Trust who have restored it to it's view of what a Chartist Cottage would have been like - it is managed by the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings.The cottage is open by appointment only, for educational visits. Contact the museum on 01527 831886 or 883363 for further details.)

Broadway Artists Colony C1885 – late 1890s
Cotswold Village ‘discovered’ by American illustrator and painter Francis Millet. Millet was joined by a host of English and American friends, namely the painters Edwin Abbey, Sargent, George Boughton, Alfred Parson (illustrator of Dickens' work), Edwin Blashfield, the English illustrator Fred Barnard and the writer Henry James and Edmund Gross who all moved into the village. Serious work was interspersed with tennis, tea, musical evenings, dances and more tennis. Abbot's Grange in the village became a sort of dilapidated rural arts centre. “A mediaeval ruin, a small ecclesiastical edifice, which was very roughly repaired so as to make a kind of refuge for us, and there, in the morning, Henry James and I would write, while Abbey and Millet painted on the floor below, and Sargent and Parsons tilted their easels just outside. We were all within shouting distance, and not much serious work was done, for we were in towering spirits and everything was food for laughter.” Edmund Gross 1886.
GRID REF: SP100374
REF: www.cotswolds.info

Guild of St George Smallholdings 1889 to Present
7 acres of woodland gifted to John Ruskin’s Guild of St George by Birmingham mayor and manufacturer George Baker. A series of smallholdings were set up by five families from Liverpool who had been part of a small community based on Ruskin's ideas at Mulberry Cottage Wavertree.. In the years leading up to the First World War the settlement developed to became a model Guild community and its properties are still maintained by the Guild of St. George to the present day.
GRID REF: SO762754 Bewdley
REF: Ruskin and Bewdley. P.Wardle & C.Quayle / Alt.Com 19thC Eng p80 / The Wider Sea -A Life of John Ruskin. J.D.Hunt.

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Site last updated 3.1.2007