The ‘Ghost Village’ of WWII Is A Must See Attraction When It’s Actually Open
For the past 70 years a small village in Wiltshire called Imber has sat unoccupied.
The town’s residents were asked to leave the area during World War II and the village was turned into a military facility where soldiers received training for D-Day landings in Normandy.
The town is closed off to visitors most of the year, but on Eastern Weekend you can visit this historic site and take photographs of what has been deemed the “Ghost Village.”
The remains of the homes and other buildings, as you can see, have been very well preserved.
The village was confiscated by the British government when they realized Adolf Hitler was hell bent on claiming Britain as the crown jewel in his domination of Europe.
Here’s a photo of the former Seagrams farm.
Before World War II there were about 170 residents living in Imber. The British government started buying up all the land around the village before asking residents to leave. In 1940, the British government asked villagers to find new houses and jobs in other areas.
The Normandy invasion was largely believed to be victorious because of the training soldiers received ahead of the attack. That victory enabled the Allied forces to move deep into Nazi-controlled territory. Eventually Hitler was forced to retreat from France and Belgium
Here is the tower of St Giles’s in 2002.
The St. Giles parish is the only part of the town that is not currently owned by the Ministry of Defense.
The training area setup in Imber was later used by the Ministry of Defence to train troops operating in Northern Ireland during the IRA crisis. Imber, soldiers were trained in patrolling a residential area which included moving in and out of structures and watching for sniper fire.
To be abundantly clear, residents in Imber made no attempts to resist the efforts of the British government. In fact, they strongly believed that moving and finding new jobs would do a great service to their country.
They did however believe they would be allowed to return after the war, an invitation that was never extended to them.
Here’s a photo of “The Bell” which was a local pub in its heyday.
Residents didn’t return because the military never stopped using the grounds. In fact, it still is an active training facility to this very day.
If you visit the area you will notice a lot of warning signs about military debris scattered in the area.
Visit during Eastern weekend and you could see the results of an amazing British village that has been seemingly frozen in time.
Here’s the town’s old court building.
The old cemetery might be the creepiest part of the village. It has not been used in years and is the part of the village that shows its age the most.
Beautiful and carefully constructed stonework still adorns the village.
This is definitely a must see attraction if you are traveling near the area on Eastern weekend.