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Save Trent Park - The Campaign to Protect & Enhance our Nation's Heritage

The beautiful Grade II listed mansion and heritage grounds at the heart of Trent Country Park (North London), used in WW2 by British Intelligence spies for its secret war against Nazi Germany, was recently purchased by the Berkeley Group and looks set to become a housing development within the Green Belt. Its future as a public asset is uncertain. 

Support our campaign to ensure a museum is established within the mansion house to ensure future generations can learn about the critical role this place played in our nation’s history. 

  • BACKGROUND

Trent Park is no ordinary park and Trent Park mansion is no ordinary stately home. In the 1920s, as the home of Sir Philip Sassoon, it was a socialite’s paradise – regular guests included Charlie Chaplin, Lawrence of Arabia, George Bernard Shaw and Edward VIII – as well as Winston Churchill who painted several paintings at the estate. The painted murals of the famous artist Rex Whistler still adorn the rooms and renaissance sculptures dignify the landscape. 

But the highly secretive, yet fascinating role this mansion played in WWII is what really sets it apart. Its role was so secret in WWII that the official files have only been released in the last few years. Trent Park was requisitioned by the War Office (and run by MI19, a branch of MI6) to be used as a very special prisoner of war camp for some of the most senior captured German officers – including 59 German Generals. It’s widely believed that Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess was held there for a short time. 

Highly sophisticated room-bugging, eavesdropping and passive manipulation techniques were used for the very first time to gain vital intelligence to assist the war effort. The results of this clandestine operation were highly successful and intelligence gained included valuable information on German U-boat tactics, bombing raid radar system technology and some of the first evidence of war crimes and atrocities, including the mass killing of Jews. Intelligence discovered for the first time changed the course of the war when the German generals discussed amongst themselves Hitler’s “secret weapons” programme – the V1, V2 rocket, and his atomic bomb programme. Little did they know that the secret listeners were recording their conversations.  

Much of the historical significance of Trent Park has only recently come to light with the declassification of documents in 2004 – the importance of this site is only going to grow over time as the nation realises its significance for winning the war alongside Bletchley Park

Before Berkeley redevelops the site, this is the last chance to establish a proper full national museum in the historic mansion – rather than seeing it carved up into private and non-accessible residences. That would be tragic for our nation, for local people, and for those WWII heroes whose work was so secret that they never received recognition. 

 

  • PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CAMPAIGN FOR 

1) the establishment of a museum across the entire ground floor and relevant rooms of the basement of the mansion house highlighting the crucial role it played in WWII 

2) public / community use of the upper floors of the mansion and the adjacent swimming pool

3) permanent public access across all of the grounds 

4) sensitive restoration of all listed and heritage features of the estate 

5) a high quality development that reflects the Grade II listed building and its setting within Trent Park (a landscape designed by Humphry Repton) and the fact it is situated in the Green Belt and is included within the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. 

  • FOR MORE INFO 

Like us on facebook: www.facebook.com/SaveTrentPark

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Visit our YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1mebB7LLzqoY89ojB91MCw

For enquiries please contact the campaign founder/coordinator Jason Charalambous on cllr.jason.charalambous@enfield.gov.uk

Thank you for your support!

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