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Tyneham, Dorset's Lost Village - Page Two

The picturesque ponds near the Rectory.


Tyneham House was built in 1583 and demolished by the Ministry of Works in the 1960's. Although the ownership of the original house is difficult to trace, it was owned by the Bond family from 1863 who lived there until the compulsory evacuation in 1943, after the war the property was compulsorily purchased by the Ministry of Defence in 1952.




The Church of St. Mary the Virgin which stands above the village street, is still used for some services. It is medieval in origin but the fabric including a rebuilding of the west wall was restored in 1744. Further changes took place over the years including the building of the south transept by Rev. Wm. Bond when the seating in the church became inadequate. The roof of the church is stone slates except the nave which was covered in lead, this disappeared shortly after the evacuation and was replaced by a bituminous material. However, the army have retiled that part of the roof. When the villagers left in 1943 Helen Taylor a seamstress at Tyneham House wrote the following notice and pinned it to the church door. "Please treat the church and houses with care. We have given up our homes where many of us lived for generations to help win the war to keep men free. We shall return one day and thank you for treating the village kindly".




The village school was built in 1860 by the Rector, the Rev. Nathaniel Bond at his own expense. It's composed of a single large room with a lobby at one end and a narrow platform at the other for infants' benches and/or use as an improvised stage. The records of 1871 show that the school employed a teacher named James Roe, with one lady assistant. The school was intended for up to 60 children and remained in use until 1932 when it was closed owing to the small number of scholars.


The desks in the school room have been set out with extracts from children's exercise books. Much of the writing is about the local flora and fauna. This is an example of one of the exquisite drawings that have been painted on to the desks as part of the school room display.


The oak tree planted to commemorate the coronation of King George V.


The entrance of the old rectory.


Lilian Bond in her book - "Tyneham, A Lost Heritage" describes the rectory as a plain, unassuming building with a cheerful air of modest comfort, which could accommodate a typical Victorian family.


The rectory had stabling for three horses, a couple of good grass fields above the house, and a slice of the hill. Lilian Bond indicates that not all rectors could afford to keep a horse and carriage/trap and the rector's wife would walk the 12 miles to Wareham, as did all the Tyneham housewives in the late nineteenth century, returning with prams heaped with merchandise on top of the baby!


Home, home on the ranges...the village is surrounded by range walks, or in the case of this person a range run.

Now onto the Tank Museum -  Please click here  

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