Wednesday, 16 November 2022

The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

View of the Row, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

I love all things abandoned and derelict. When I visited my friend in Bournemouth in September, she asked if I was keen on visiting a little Dorset village that had been evacuated during World War II and abandoned ever since. I most definitely was keen! Following our morning wander around Corfe Castle, we headed up to the derelict village of Tyneham in Dorset.

Telephone box at the Row, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The story of Tyneham is fascinating. During World War II, the British Army needed to extend their training area and gave the inhabitants of Tyneham 28 days notice that they would need to evacuate the village. They left on 17 December 1943 but were certain they would return. Sadly, that was not the case because the army kept the land in the face of the Cold War threat after the war. The village remains part of the Ministry of Defense Lulworth Ranges to this day but the public are allowed to visit on most weekends and bank holidays.

The Row

The Row, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The first thing you notice when you arrive in Tyneham is the Row, a line of four tiny little cottages.

4 The Row – Shepherd’s Cottage | The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

4 The Row – Shepherd’s Cottage | The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The cottage on the end is 4 The Row, the Shepherd’s Cottage.

3 The Row - The Old Post Office | The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

Next to that is the old Post Office at 3 The Row.

2 The Row - The Labourer's Cottage | The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The labourer's cottage was at 2 The Row.

1 The Row - The School House | The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The school house was at 1 The Row and was home to the village teachers and their families.

View of the cottages at The Row, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The Church

The Row and Church, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The Tyneham Church is located at the top of the Row, opposite the school house.

Inside the Church, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

It has recently been refurbished and is beautiful inside.

Church, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

You might wonder why the church has been preserved in an abandoned village. It was the wish of the villagers. When they left, they affixed a sign to the church door:

Please treat the church and houses with care. We have given up our homes, where many of us have lived for generations, to help win the war to keep men free. We will return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly.

The School

The School, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

Tyneham School closed in 1932 but the building has been lovingly restored to show how it might have looked in the 1920s.

Old Books Inside The School, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

Old Scale Inside The School, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The Rectory

The Rectory, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The Rectory was home to the reverend and his family and of course it was the most grand building in the village.

Then and Now Comparison of The Rectory, The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

The house was sadly gutted by a fire in 1966 and is fenced off, but you can compare the current state of the building with a photo of how it once looked.

Pondfield Cove

The Abandoned Town of Tyneham, Dorset

It doesn't take long to see everything in Tyneham so we took a long walk afterwards to Pondfield Cove where we climbed the hill and admired the views of the cove and Tyneham. All in all, it was a wonderful day out with magical memories made.

Visiting Tyneham

MOD Ranges
Tyneham
Wareham
Dorset BH20 5QF
Opening times
Directions

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© 2008 - Mandy Southgate | Emm in London

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