I went to Tyneham because of its history. I wanted to see a village ‘frozen in time’ with my own eyes.
In 1943, ahead of the D-Day, the British Army felt an urgent need for some firing practice. It found the Tyneham valley in Dorset and asked the villagers to leave. They haven’t been back since and the village (kind of) remains the way they left it. It’s all army property still, but the public are allowed access on weekends.
I walked around, taking in the school, the church with the red door on which the villagers had left a note asking the army to treat their property with care, and the beautiful ruins of a set of row houses with grass and buddleia growing on them. Wars normally ravage, but in the case of Tyneham I thought it had done just the opposite.
PS: At the bottom of the village, in front of the restored and renamed ‘History Barn’, you see remnants of these armour-piercing shells. It was strange to note the flowers.