The secret ghost village abandoned by force in 1943 | Tech US News

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The only clue to the previous inhabitants of Worbarrow Bay in Dorset is the remains of 102 houses, a church and a farm, which residents were told to leave their homes in the nearby village of Tyneham in 1943. All the residents thought they would come back —but they were never allowed to return.

The result is that anyone suddenly finding themselves on this immense stretch of beach might think they were somewhere other than the south of England. The Jurassic coast is sparse, unspoiled and pristine, just as it might have been centuries ago and unlike any other stretch of the English coast.

During the last years of World War II, the army told the villagers to move out – giving them 28 days – as it took over the town and the surrounding 7,500 hectares, to train troops and practice maneuvers. It was considered a necessary part of the war effort.

There was a note attached to the door of the 13th century church telling visitors or passers-by: “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 the kind treatment of the village.

It wasn’t going to be. The army placed a compulsory purchase order on the land in 1947, meaning no one could return, despite several attempts by locals to convince the military otherwise. Since then, the land and the coast are in the hands of the Ministry of Defense and used for training.

Since 1975, only soldiers from the artillery school have been allowed to drive on the village road from Monday to Friday. During weekdays, there is a metal barrier warning people of shooting practice nearby and that no one should enter.

However, from Saturday morning to Sunday evening, visitors can step back in time, along forgotten paths surrounded by thousands of brambles that, in season, are bristling with wild blackberries. After driving to the parking lot and dropping the requested £2 ($2.2) into an honesty box, visitors can wander past the relics of old houses, including the foundations of a 14th-century mansion that was looted, demolished and burned. the years, now parts of it are cut off for safety.

Tyneham’s old school, built in 1856, has been preserved, as has St Mary’s Church, which the army agreed to leave standing, and visitors can explore cottages detailing the families who lived in the village at the time. In other villages, there might be tourist shops and tea rooms, busy open-top buses and full pubs selling cream teas. Instead, there is only bustling vegetation and peace and quiet.

For more information on how to visit and the various weekends when the army closes access to the village, see the army website, as well as the local website, which explains more about the history of the village.

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