Tyneham History

A brief history of Tyneham

The history of Tyneham dates back to the time of William the Conqueror who gave parcels of land to his brother, the Earl of Mortain, however, there have been fishing communities associated with the parish since the Iron Age.

Records for the following period are scarce to say the least, but in the 14th century it’s recorded that the Russels owned Tyneham.

Over the following period Tyneham was then passed down from father to son for five generations before coming into the ownership of the Chykes and then the Popes who sold Tyneham to john Williams of Herringston.

In 1683 Nathaniel Bond of Lutton bought the estate from the Williams Family. From then on Tyneham remained in control of the Bonds.

The most poingnent time in the Tyneham’s history began in towards the end of 1943. The village of Tyneham and 7,500 acres of surrounding heathland and chalk downland were commandeered just before the Christmas of 1943 by the Ministry of Defence or War Office as it was known then, for use as firing ranges for training troops. Altogether, 252 people were displaced.

arthur grants houseThis measure was supposed to be temporary for the duration of World War II, but in 1948 the army placed a compulsory purchase order on the land and it has remained in use for military training ever since. The villagers were not allowed to return to their homes, but were given new accomodation. After the war, many of the villagers launched campaigns and demonstrations, but to no avail.tyneham house.

Since that time Tyenham has remained uninhabbited, a ghost village, frozen in time. Many of the buildings still stand in various states of disrepair, some have been restored like the church and school, however some, such as the ‘Great House’ have been lost forever.

Witness the lost village

Life for the villagers was idyllic and simple.