Places with First and Second World War connections
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
- 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
- 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
Discover the places we look after that have links to the Tudor period, from prominent figures like Henry VII and key events such as the dissolution of the monasteries. They’ve received royal visitors, hidden Catholic priests and witnessed important events.
Visit some of the places we look after that have inspired famous writers, playwrights and poets, including the homes of Beatrix Potter, Virginia Woolf and Thomas Hardy.
Bring history to life when you uncover links to royalty through the ages at the places we look after and in their collections.
Walk in the footsteps of famous people. From The Beatles to Sir Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie to Isaac Newton, discover more as you step into their former homes.
In March 1939, a group of Jewish child refugees arrived in Waddesdon village after escaping Nazi Germany. Join presenter Diane Kenwood as she uncovers the Cedar Children's story of survival and hope. You can also find more episodes from series seven, filled with nature and history.