WWII

British WWII Ghost Village (Tyneham/Dorset)

225 British residents from Tyneham, Doreset, ask to leave their family homes by the war office during WWII.

Tyneham, a village left like a ghost town due to its top secret history during WWII.

Located on the south coast of England, it was perfectly placed for D Day training,

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the village is situated northwest of Worbarrow Bay and south of Wareham.

Access to the village is only allowed when the MOD are not training as it is situated within a live firing range, used by tanks and other MOD vehicles.

7500 acres (30km/2) of heartland and chalk downland around Purbeck Hill.

Around mid November 1943 the residents of this quiet village receive an official letter from the war office, he is an extract:

“the government appreciate that this is no small sacrifice which you are asked to make, but they are sure that you will give this further help towards winning the war with a good heart”

They are given one (1) month to move out and sworn to total secrecy, as was their move in an effort to prevent any information about the forthcoming D Day Landings leaking out.

The 225 residence were told they could all return to their family homes once the war was over, however this decision was turned over due to the cold war and so no one has ever returned.  They did however leave a small message for the incoming soldiers:

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Left on the church door

Village backstory

The village was part of a large estate owned by the BOND family for over 300 years, the family were compensated by the war office to the turn of £30,000 whilst the residence not owning their properties as they were all owned by the Bond family were provided with new homes and a small compensation for any veg gardens they left behind.

The village had no running water or electricity, residence had to queue at the local village water pump on a daily basis.

Today

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Today the village is a great place to visit and take in the atmosphere of this once tranquil village which since December 1943 has being surround by the sounds of tanks and large calibre rounds.  It is located on a still used firing range (Lulworth Range) and so visits are restricted to weekends mainly, see end of post for a link to website for full details.

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Admission is free but donations are excepted.  If you visit this site please observe the warning signs, stay to the paths provided.

There is plenty to see, each of the terrace houses has a little story board, providing some background information about the family who once lived there.

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The school house now restored gives you a look back at life in the village for the younger residents.

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The same for the village church.

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Other building in the village are still in disrepair but the main structures are still standing.

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as stated visiting is weekends only 10am til 4pm as well as some bank holidays, visit this site for full details:

https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/countryside-coast-parks/beaches-and-coast/the-lulworth-ranges-and-tyneham-village.aspx

 

One comment

  1. Nice post and photos. Tyneham is a compelling and atmospheric place to visit. It’s like a window on our past. There is an alternative view to the emotive ‘the government broke its promise to allow them home’ angle, though, which is that some villagers were much happier being in homes with electricity, running water and an indoor loo for the first time in their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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