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Places with First and Second World War connections

The house at Chartwell, Kent
The family home of Sir Winston Churchill at Chartwell, Kent | © National Trust Images/Chris Jonas

Many places in our care played an important role during the First and Second World Wars. Discover where you can go to see that history preserved, including weapons testing sites, secret military bases and a D-Day training area.

Chartwell, Kent
Chartwell was the family home of Prime Minister Winston Churchill from 1922 until the end of his life. Churchill spent the war years in London but returned to his country home when hostilities ended. Look out for wartime artefacts, including the Union Flag that flew over Rome when it was liberated in 1944.Explore Chartwell
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
Winston Churchill’s prototype trench-cutting tank, 'Nellie', was developed and tested at Clumber Park during the Second World War. The trenches it dug shaped the landscape at Clumber Park – keep an eye out on the South Lawns where its effects can still be seen today.Explore Clumber Park
Coleshill, Oxfordshire
Throughout the Second World War, more than 3,000 men were trained at Coleshill as Auxiliers – members of the British Resistance to be deployed in the event of a German invasion. Take in the landscape used for the Auxiliers' training and stop by the working replica operational bunker.Explore Coleshill
Large glass cases displaying RAF memorabilia such as flight suits and flags inside the RAF Defford Museum at Croome, Worcestershire.
The RAF Defford Museum at Croome, Worcestershire | © National Trust Images/James Dobson
Croome, Worcestershire
Croome played an important role in the Second World War with its top-secret airbase. In the 1940s, RAF Defford housed over 2,000 service personnel and scientists. Visit the base where they tested the latest radar developments, helping to ensure victory in 1945.Explore Croome
Dunham Massey, Cheshire
When the First World War broke out, Dunham Massey transformed into the Stamford Hospital for injured soldiers. Discover the Saloon used as a ward, the Billiard Room that became a nurses' station and the area at the end of the Grand Staircase which was converted into an operating theatre.Explore Dunham Massey
Hughenden, Buckinghamshire
Hughenden was home to a top-secret Second World War map-making operation, codenamed 'Hillside', where skilled cartographers drew maps for bombing missions. Explore the permanent exhibition, featuring original photographs, records and memories of those involved.Explore Hughenden
The interior of Fan Bay Deep Shelter in The White Cliffs of Dover in Kent, showing its arched corrugated steel construction
Looking into the officers' accommodation tunnel at Fan Bay Deep Shelter at White Cliffs of Dover, Kent , showing its arched corrugated steel construction | © National Trust Images/Chris Tapley
Orford Ness, Suffolk
The history of Orford Ness is shrouded in secrecy – it was used as a classified military testing site from the First World War through to the Cold War. Stroll through the marshes that were once an airfield and look out for the Radar Receiving and Bomb Ballistics buildings.Explore Orford Ness
Studland Bay, Dorset
The beach at Studland was used as a training area for troops preparing for D-Day. Trace their footsteps and see if you can spot the Fort Henry observation bunker, where Churchill, Eisenhower and King George VI watched rehearsals. Look out for hidden devices built to foil a German invasion too, such as pill boxes and 'dragon's teeth'.Explore Studland Bay
White Cliffs of Dover, Kent
Go beneath the White Cliffs of Dover at Fan Bay Shelter and discover the secret world of underground tunnels which were built to protect the gun battery. Experience the shelter just as the Second World War soldiers did over 80 years ago on a guided tour that takes you 125 steps down into steel and concrete.Explore the White Cliffs of Dover
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