Tyneham village - Dorset time capsule


Tyneham village - Dorset time capsule

The small village of Tyneham just inland from the Jurassic Coast in Dorset was 'temporarily' evacuated in November 1943 so that British forces could train there in preparation for D-Day. Though the villagers were told their departure would only be for 28 days, they have never been allowed to return, and so it remains frozen in time.

In November 1943, the 225 villagers of Tyneham were given an evacuation notice by Winston Churchill’s war cabinet, as troops were to be trained in modern combat in their village. It was felt that Tyneham was the most suitable location with the fewest residents to inconvenience.

As live ammunition was to be used, villagers were ordered to leave their homes for their own safety. Residents were told that from 19th December, the village would be under the control of the military and they would need to stay away for a total of 28 days.

The villagers were never allowed to return and, to this day, the village remains under the control of the military.

The cottages are in ruin, the manor house long gone. But the church and the school are well-preserved and inside the school the students’ names can still be seen above the coat hook. Posters and the children's work remain on the walls, all telling stories of a time long gone.

Today the village is nestled in a large military zone which is still used for training with live ammunition. As such the area is closed to the public for the majority of the year, but there are opportunities from time-to-time to visit the ghost village, where there are exhibitions about its history and inhabitants.

At Tyneham Farm, some of the outbuildings have been restored and there is a picnic area to enjoy.

Further reading

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