By Tristan Harris Thursday 20 September 2012 Updated: 20/09 16:13
BROMSGROVE MP Sajid Javid took in a slice of political history when he visited Rosedene cottage in Dodford.
Mr Javid, who was intrigued by the building being one of the few Chartist cottages left in the UK, was shown around by National Trust volunteers Robin and Kate Shaw.
The cottage was built as part of the radical Chartist movements, which campaigned in the mid-19th Century for social and political reform.
In the 1840s, MP Feargus O’Connor advised his Chartist followers to take part in a ballot, which, if they won, would see them become self-sufficient, with a cottage and small plot of land - just like the Rosedene set-up.
He supplied the early settlers with a handbook on farm management so they could become self-sufficient and be eligible to vote.
Rosedene itself was first occupied in 1849 and remains largely unaltered now. Fittings and furniture at the cottage recreate how it would have looked in the late 19th Century.
Its garden, which is certified organic, is a traditional Chartist one which sees four beds used to rotate crops, including cabbages, potatoes, beans and strawberries. It produces fruit and vegetables used at Hanbury Hall and there is also a restored orchard with almost 100 fruit trees and traditional varieties.
Mr Javid said: “As a politician I found it fascinating to hear the history of how our democracy was shaped by these individuals.
“It’s great to have such a rich local history in my constituency.”
He added the six Chartist points were still being debated today, especially the case for equal electoral districts.
Entry to Rosedene is by pre-booked guided tour only on the first Sunday of the month.
Admission is £5 for adults, £2.50 for children, £12.50 for families and free for National Trust members.
To book, call 01527 821214.
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