Welcome to the official website of the Trent Park Museum where you can learn more about and follow the progress of the establishment of a full national museum which is well underway.
Trent Park has a rich history from its earliest days as a Royal Hunting ground, but most pertinently during the Second World War. At the outbreak of war, it took on a role that would propel its importance to a level on par with Bletchley Park. But no one would learn about it for 70 years.
The Museum will focus on the critical role that the mansion house and its beautiful grounds played in the Second World War: it was here that British Intelligence bugged the conversations of German prisoners-of-war, and from 1942 exclusively the German Generals and high ranking German officers. In a clever deception plan, whilst the Generals enjoyed the luxurious stately rooms and roamed the gardens, their conversations were secretly recorded from the basement by a team of listeners. This site’s war-winning intelligence worked alongside Bletchley Park and other clandestine units to shorten the war by up to 2 years and saved tens of thousands of lives.
This unique place in wartime espionage was set against the backdrop of an already extraordinary pre-war history from the Bevan and Sassoon times. The pre-war years reveal an opulent life as a socialite’s retreat, where royalty such as a young Princess Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales (later the abdicated king, Edward VIII), politicians from David Lloyd George to Winston Churchill, and celebrities like Charlie Chaplin and Lawrence of Arabia revelled during the ownership of the enigmatic Sir Philip Sassoon.
The museum is not yet open to the public, with an anticipated opening in 2019/20, and will be developed across the restored state rooms on the ground floor and the atmospheric basement of the Grade II listed Trent Park House.
The Trust is currently working with relevant stakeholders to develop the site, including Berkeley Homes, the owners of this 50-acre Green Belt site, and is extremely grateful to the professional team at Berkeley for its dedication to the museum and commitment to deliver the highest quality redevelopment of this much-loved site. The Trust has a number of professional experts on board to realise the vision of something extraordinary for the nation, including the Prince’s Regeneration Trust which has been advising our team on the establishment of the Museum.
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‘Had it not been for the information obtained at this centre, it could have been London and not Hiroshima that was devastated by the first atomic bomb.’ Lt. Col. St. Clare Grondona