Tyneham Village – Frozen in Time
One of Dorset’s most interesting tourist destinations is a tiny deserted village called Tyneham. The village of Tynehame has been deserted for over 60 years. Before that it was an idyllic countryside village, located only a couple of miles from the sea and the delightfully picturesque Worbarrow Bay.
It had it’s own church, school, rectory, several farms and lots of cottages. It’s most prominent building was the grand mansion house called Tyneham House, or the Great House as it was also known.
Life for the villagers was idyllic and simple. Like many places in that era, there was no electricity or running water. However it was still a lovely place to live, free from the trouble and strife of the outside world.
So what happened to this quaint little village? Why did it’s inhabitants decide to leave?
Well, the villagers didn’t want to leave. After all who would want to leave such lovely homes in such a quiet and peaceful part of the Dorset countryside..
Unfortunately, the onset of World War 2 changed the lives of many people all around the world. On Christmas Eve 1943, the residents of Tyneham were about to join the millions whose lives would be turned upside down by the war.
Due to it’s proximity to the Lulworth firing ranges, the government decided to claim Tyneham village and much of it’s surrounding land as a place to train the allied forces. The villagers were told they must temporarily leave their homes for the greater good. Once the war was over, they would be allowed to return to their homes and continues on with their lives. As they packed up their belongings and left they pinned a note to the door of the village church which read:
However, until now, despite a number of high profile campaigns, the original residents have never been allowed to return to their homes. As only a small handful of the evacuees are still alive to this day, it remains unlikely that the government will release the village.
The village of Tyneham has remained as if frozen in time for the last 60 years.
When the village is open it’s a lovely place to visit and provides a glimpse into the past of how life used to be in this quaint little village.