Over one month in 1943 a group of residents was ordered to leave their Dorset village after the government took it over for military training. Seventy years on people are being warned not to take a rose-tinted view of the village which was left “frozen in time”.
‘Thank you for treating the village kindly’, read a note pinned to Tyneham’s church door as the final inhabitants hurriedly left in 1943.
The estate and village, nestled near the Dorset coast, had been commandeered as a tank firing range ahead of D-Day with its 225 inhabitants told to leave their homes.
They never returned.
After seven decades, the roofless shells of a post office, farmhouses, a rectory and cottages offer passing curious walkers and visitors a glimpse of the life of a long-departed community.
The Village still sits in the middle of the tank firing ranges and is only open when the British Army allows access, generally at weekends and school holidays. The Village Church and school have been restored. The walks are very moving and quite stunning. My wife and I visited this morning and were fortunate enough to have the village to ourselves under bright blue skies on a very cold and frosty morning. I think we caught the best of the day as it was getting busy as we left.
I hope you enjoy the Photographs.