The museum is still in its early phase, and will be established across the ground floor and basement of the mansion house. The trustees are working steadily on its development, and is dedicated and committed to this project to realise something special and unique for the nation. Work has already begun on strategy, leading into developing the concept and stories which are to be told in the museum and in nature and history trails across the wider Trent Park Country Park. The 21st century experiential nature of this museum, like Bentley Priory, Bletchley Park, Churchill War Rooms, and other similar ‘secret’ sites, will enable visitors to be fully immersed in its unique history.
The vital educational element of this museum for schools and teachers will form part of the experience – WW2 already forms a key resource for schools at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 via the educational charity London Grid for Learning.
The site has many stories to tell, some across permanent interactive features and displays, others through rotating or special exhibitions. This site is unique because of its own special ‘secret war’ that garnered the most extraordinary war-winning intelligence of WW2. This story cannot now be told anywhere else within the historic rooms where they took place. In this respect, Trent Park will create a lasting legacy. The main focus of the museum will be on the clandestine work carried out there (and its sister sites of Latimer House and Wilton Park) during the Second World War.
As a secondary part of the museum, it will be possible to appreciate the restored rooms and grandeur of Sir Philip Sassoon’s pre-war high society. The rooms in the basement have a special atmosphere of their own and it was from there that the secret listeners listened into the German generals and senior German officers in the rooms above.
This is an opportunity to create something of lasting significance to the men and women who signed the Official Secrets Act and could never talk about their work. It is a chance too to honour the intelligence chiefs who worked out of the site and again whose contribution to winning the war has yet to be recognised from army intelligence (Intelligence Corps / MI6), Naval Intelligence and Air Intelligence.