In the county of Dorset the small village of Tyneham lies empty and abandoned. It is free to wander around this silent and eerie place with just the shell of which was once a family home or the post office, even the school lays empty. The village church is the one building which remains intact.
It was in November 1943 when this small village with it’s 225 inhabitants who lived in 102 properties were given four weeks notice by the War Cabinet to leave their homes to give the army space to use it as a training ground. With the promise that when the war was over it would be handed back to them in return the villagers would have done there bit to help win the war. They moved out and the army moved in.
After the war had ended the village was declared unsafe as there may be unexploded bombs, there was no electric, no running water, the list of excuses continued , the villagers had a fight on their hands to reclaim there land from the army. The state of the buildings were deteriorating as if the army hadn’t done enough damage. Finally after a lot of debate the village was handed back in the mid 1970s. In 1978 the local councils started to make the buildings safe and in 1979 it was opened as a tourist attraction. The villagers never did move back to their beloved village. The army still have access to use the surrounding area as training.
On my visit, the trip seemed so surreal, the shell of the building still standing but everything else gone, including the roof. In each building is a display case telling you who live there and what the building was. It bought it all to life that you were standing in someone’s home. With the thought that they left that home with the knowledge they would return, only they never did.
This is a must see place and I highly recommend a walk around The Village That Died For England.