Trent Park House

Trent Park House Home of the Secret Listeners Trent Park House - Home of the Secret Listeners Our aim is to create a world-class visitor attraction to highlight the vital role played by the Secret Listeners who were behind some of the most important intelligence discoveries of World War Two.

Operating as usual

Sybil Cholmondeley, Countess of Rocksavage (and later Marchioness of Cholmondeley) was Sir Philip Sassoon's sister and a...
05/09/2021

Sybil Cholmondeley, Countess of Rocksavage (and later Marchioness of Cholmondeley) was Sir Philip Sassoon's sister and a key fixture at Trent Park. ⁠

Sir Philip never married, and in an age bound by convention, Sybil frequently acted as hostess during weekend parties at Trent Park and the pair were extremely close during their lifetime. ⁠

This portrait was painted by John Singer Sargent, the famous society portrait artist who was a close friend of both Philip and Sybil.

Sybil Cholmondeley, Countess of Rocksavage (and later Marchioness of Cholmondeley) was Sir Philip Sassoon's sister and a key fixture at Trent Park. ⁠

Sir Philip never married, and in an age bound by convention, Sybil frequently acted as hostess during weekend parties at Trent Park and the pair were extremely close during their lifetime. ⁠

This portrait was painted by John Singer Sargent, the famous society portrait artist who was a close friend of both Philip and Sybil.

New blog post alert! 🚨 Dr. Alex Henry explores the working relationships between Field Marshal Haig and Sir Philip Sasso...
30/08/2021
Field Marshal Haig & Sir Philip Sassoon — Trent Park House

New blog post alert! 🚨

Dr. Alex Henry explores the working relationships between Field Marshal Haig and Sir Philip Sassoon during the First World War.

Read the full post by clicking on the link below 👇

By Dr. Alex Henry ‘Haig did not talk much himself but he enjoyed gaiety and wit in others, and he appreciated conversational brilliance. This partly explains his paradoxical choice of Sir Philip Sassoon as his private secretary. Aesthete, politician, millionaire, that semi-oriental figure flitted

Trent Park wasn't the only interrogation site run by the CDSIC. Latimer House opened in May 1942, and saw over 10,000 Ge...
18/08/2021

Trent Park wasn't the only interrogation site run by the CDSIC. Latimer House opened in May 1942, and saw over 10,000 German prisoners pass through over the course of the war. ⁠

Like #TrentPark, their conversations were recorded and the intelligence gained was vital in Britain's war effort. Legend suggests that Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, spent a few nights at Latimer House en route to a more secure, more remote facility. ⁠

Pictured: the staff at Latimer House.

Trent Park wasn't the only interrogation site run by the CDSIC. Latimer House opened in May 1942, and saw over 10,000 German prisoners pass through over the course of the war. ⁠

Like #TrentPark, their conversations were recorded and the intelligence gained was vital in Britain's war effort. Legend suggests that Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, spent a few nights at Latimer House en route to a more secure, more remote facility. ⁠

Pictured: the staff at Latimer House.

The gardens at Trent Park were redesigned under Sir Philip Sassoon - at their peak. they had 18 full time gardeners work...
13/08/2021

The gardens at Trent Park were redesigned under Sir Philip Sassoon - at their peak. they had 18 full time gardeners working across them. Produce and flowers were grown at Trent for the house and for Sir Philip's residence in Park Lane. They were at their best in the summer months, between May & August. We love this picture of the borders in bloom! 🌹

The gardens at Trent Park were redesigned under Sir Philip Sassoon - at their peak. they had 18 full time gardeners working across them. Produce and flowers were grown at Trent for the house and for Sir Philip's residence in Park Lane. They were at their best in the summer months, between May & August. We love this picture of the borders in bloom! 🌹

Kurt Meyer was a commander in the Waffen-SS who was heavily involved in the Ardenne Abbey massacre, where Canadian POWs ...
08/08/2021

Kurt Meyer was a commander in the Waffen-SS who was heavily involved in the Ardenne Abbey massacre, where Canadian POWs were murdered by the N***s. He was captured shortly afterwards and was held at Trent Park - he was one of the more high profile prisoners held there. ⁠

One of his interrogators described him as 'the personfication of National Socialism' and he remained an ardent believer in N**i ideology. He was tried for war crimes and initially sentenced to death for his role in the orchestration of the murder of civilians and POWs, but this was eventually commuted to life imprisonment.

Kurt Meyer was a commander in the Waffen-SS who was heavily involved in the Ardenne Abbey massacre, where Canadian POWs were murdered by the N***s. He was captured shortly afterwards and was held at Trent Park - he was one of the more high profile prisoners held there. ⁠

One of his interrogators described him as 'the personfication of National Socialism' and he remained an ardent believer in N**i ideology. He was tried for war crimes and initially sentenced to death for his role in the orchestration of the murder of civilians and POWs, but this was eventually commuted to life imprisonment.

Did you know in 1929 Sir Philip Sassoon published a book entitled 'The Third Route'? With end-plates illustrated by his ...
04/08/2021

Did you know in 1929 Sir Philip Sassoon published a book entitled 'The Third Route'?

With end-plates illustrated by his friend and renowned artist Rex Whistler, the book was a chronicle of his adventures travelling across the Middle East to India by air.

Did you know in 1929 Sir Philip Sassoon published a book entitled 'The Third Route'?

With end-plates illustrated by his friend and renowned artist Rex Whistler, the book was a chronicle of his adventures travelling across the Middle East to India by air.

"When we got back we went for a flight over the grounds in Philip’s private aeroplane. And then, when we went into tea w...
23/07/2021

"When we got back we went for a flight over the grounds in Philip’s private aeroplane. And then, when we went into tea we found, amongst others, Bernard Shaw arguing with Winston Churchill over the tea-cups, Rex Whistler painting in the corner, Osbert Sitwell and Malcolm Bullock laughing in another corner, Kenneth Clark holding forth about pictures, and heaven knows who else.⁠

When we went up to change—into black tie—for dinner; there was a cocktail and a carnation on every dressing-table. And dinner was served by a large fat butler whose name I forget, and six white-coated footmen. After dinner we watched a magnificent firework display on the lake. And finally Richard Tauber sang to us under the stars on the Terrace outside the house.⁠

Today, it all seems like the dream of another world, now gone for ever. And so it is." - Robert Boothby, Churchill's former private secretary, writing to the Queen Mother in 1958.

"When we got back we went for a flight over the grounds in Philip’s private aeroplane. And then, when we went into tea we found, amongst others, Bernard Shaw arguing with Winston Churchill over the tea-cups, Rex Whistler painting in the corner, Osbert Sitwell and Malcolm Bullock laughing in another corner, Kenneth Clark holding forth about pictures, and heaven knows who else.⁠

When we went up to change—into black tie—for dinner; there was a cocktail and a carnation on every dressing-table. And dinner was served by a large fat butler whose name I forget, and six white-coated footmen. After dinner we watched a magnificent firework display on the lake. And finally Richard Tauber sang to us under the stars on the Terrace outside the house.⁠

Today, it all seems like the dream of another world, now gone for ever. And so it is." - Robert Boothby, Churchill's former private secretary, writing to the Queen Mother in 1958.

The contribution that women made to the success of Trent Park was vital. They stand as a symbol of the importance of re-...
18/07/2021

The contribution that women made to the success of Trent Park was vital. They stand as a symbol of the importance of re-assessing our traditional views of the war, and to include a more varied demographic in the stories we tell.

Working shoulder to shoulder with their male comrades, women served as intelligence officers, clerks, linguists, translators, typists, stewards, mess cooks, orderlies, telephonists, and even the camp hairdresser. Quite simply, without these hundreds of women, Trent Park and CSDIC (UK) would have ceased to function effectively.⁠

https://www.trentparkhouse.org.uk/latest-news/women-in-intelligence

The contribution that women made to the success of Trent Park was vital. They stand as a symbol of the importance of re-assessing our traditional views of the war, and to include a more varied demographic in the stories we tell.

Working shoulder to shoulder with their male comrades, women served as intelligence officers, clerks, linguists, translators, typists, stewards, mess cooks, orderlies, telephonists, and even the camp hairdresser. Quite simply, without these hundreds of women, Trent Park and CSDIC (UK) would have ceased to function effectively.⁠

https://www.trentparkhouse.org.uk/latest-news/women-in-intelligence

We're delighted to announce we have received a grant from the Wolfson Foundation which will help support the capital pro...
07/07/2021
Donation received from The Wolfson Foundation — Trent Park House

We're delighted to announce we have received a grant from the Wolfson Foundation which will help support the capital project to re-open Trent Park House to the public. Read more below!

We are delighted to announce that Trent Park House has received a generous donation from the Wolfson Foundation which will help to support the capital project to reopen Trent Park House for the benefit of the public.

Flight Lieutenant Samuel Denys Felkin was placed in charge of the Air Intelligence section AI1(K), and later became the ...
06/07/2021

Flight Lieutenant Samuel Denys Felkin was placed in charge of the Air Intelligence section AI1(K), and later became the Chief Interrogation Officer at Trent Park.⁠

Known to prisoners as ‘Oberst King’, Felkin made himself charming and likeable, befriending prisoners and feeding them false information about Britain’s understanding of Germany’s war effort and tactics.

Flight Lieutenant Samuel Denys Felkin was placed in charge of the Air Intelligence section AI1(K), and later became the Chief Interrogation Officer at Trent Park.⁠

Known to prisoners as ‘Oberst King’, Felkin made himself charming and likeable, befriending prisoners and feeding them false information about Britain’s understanding of Germany’s war effort and tactics.

Did you know Sir Philip Sassoon had a keen interest in art? He commissioned Rex Whistler to paint at Trent Park and regu...
28/06/2021

Did you know Sir Philip Sassoon had a keen interest in art? He commissioned Rex Whistler to paint at Trent Park and regularly hosted artists. He was also Chairman of the Trustees of the National Gallery - in this snap, he is kissing the hand of Queen Mary on the steps of the National Gallery.

Did you know Sir Philip Sassoon had a keen interest in art? He commissioned Rex Whistler to paint at Trent Park and regularly hosted artists. He was also Chairman of the Trustees of the National Gallery - in this snap, he is kissing the hand of Queen Mary on the steps of the National Gallery.

Sir Philip Sassoon's premature death in June 1939 at the age of 50 surprised many. His obtiuary was printed in the New Y...
22/06/2021
PHILIP SASSOON, 50, NOTED BRITON, DIES; Former Under-Secretary for Air Was One of Wealthiest Men in the Empire HAD SERVED IN MANY POSTS Was Private Secretary to Haig in France--Ex-Trustee of the National Gallery (Published 1939)

Sir Philip Sassoon's premature death in June 1939 at the age of 50 surprised many. His obtiuary was printed in the New York Times (as well as papers at home of course) - they billed him as 'one of Great Britain's richest men and former Under-Secretary for Air' in their tribute to him.

Sassoon (Sir), Phil

June's blog post is up! Dr. Alex Henry explores exactly who some of the generals held as POWS at Trent Park were in grea...
19/06/2021
More German generals — Trent Park House

June's blog post is up! Dr. Alex Henry explores exactly who some of the generals held as POWS at Trent Park were in greater depth.

In our October 2020 blog we introduced some of the over 80 German Generals and senior officers that were held at Trent Park during the Second World War. This month we wanted to revisit this group and share further insights into their experiences, worldviews, and private conversations.

One from the archives this #ThrowbackThursday - a late 19th century snap of the many staff who kept Trent Park House run...
17/06/2021

One from the archives this #ThrowbackThursday - a late 19th century snap of the many staff who kept Trent Park House running under the Bevan family. ⁠

Sir Philip Sassoon would have had as many, if not more staff: although he was a bachelor, Trent Park was the site of endless entertaining and parties throughout the 1920s and 30s. To manage a large turnover of guests would have required a lot of staff!

One from the archives this #ThrowbackThursday - a late 19th century snap of the many staff who kept Trent Park House running under the Bevan family. ⁠

Sir Philip Sassoon would have had as many, if not more staff: although he was a bachelor, Trent Park was the site of endless entertaining and parties throughout the 1920s and 30s. To manage a large turnover of guests would have required a lot of staff!

The information uncovered at Trent Park House was shocking - even in the context of war. This article by historian Guy W...
13/06/2021
We gunned down English women and children - it was great fun: Newly published transcripts of the private conversations of PoWs prove ordinary German soldiers were just as barbaric as the SS death squads

The information uncovered at Trent Park House was shocking - even in the context of war. This article by historian Guy Walters reveals some of what the Secret Listeners overheard - it's well worth reading 📚

German Soldiers, sailors and airmen were caught by operatives at Trent Park listening centre in the UK reminiscing about committing some of the most barbaric atrocities imaginable.

Did you know Sir Philip Sassoon was a keen aviator? Serving as Under Secretary of State for Air between 1924-9 and 1931-...
08/06/2021

Did you know Sir Philip Sassoon was a keen aviator? Serving as Under Secretary of State for Air between 1924-9 and 1931-7. he firmly believed aviation was the future, and even had an airfield installed at Trent Park for this very reason.

Did you know Sir Philip Sassoon was a keen aviator? Serving as Under Secretary of State for Air between 1924-9 and 1931-7. he firmly believed aviation was the future, and even had an airfield installed at Trent Park for this very reason.

"In 1941, my grandfather Ernst Lederer was conscripted into the Home Guard where he was purportedly tasked with guarding...
03/06/2021

"In 1941, my grandfather Ernst Lederer was conscripted into the Home Guard where he was purportedly tasked with guarding Hampstead Heath. He left home every day in his Home Guard uniform to do his duty and nothing more was thought about it. ⁠

But he had a secret role and, unbeknown to our family until decades later, he was actually working at a top secret site at Trent Park, Cockfosters, near Enfield – where in the mansion house, British intelligence was bugging the conversations of Hitler’s top generals after capture on the battlefields of North Africa, France, etc" - Trustee Helen Lederer remembers her remarkable grandfather Ernst, fondly nicknamed Big Baba.

"In 1941, my grandfather Ernst Lederer was conscripted into the Home Guard where he was purportedly tasked with guarding Hampstead Heath. He left home every day in his Home Guard uniform to do his duty and nothing more was thought about it. ⁠

But he had a secret role and, unbeknown to our family until decades later, he was actually working at a top secret site at Trent Park, Cockfosters, near Enfield – where in the mansion house, British intelligence was bugging the conversations of Hitler’s top generals after capture on the battlefields of North Africa, France, etc" - Trustee Helen Lederer remembers her remarkable grandfather Ernst, fondly nicknamed Big Baba.

We hope you're enjoying the sun this bank holiday weekend, but if you find yourself with 10 minutes to spare, we'd be ve...
30/05/2021
Trent Park House: visitor survey

We hope you're enjoying the sun this bank holiday weekend, but if you find yourself with 10 minutes to spare, we'd be very grateful if you could take the time to complete our visitor survey!

All the feedback we receive helps shape how we progress with plans for the museum space.

Take this survey powered by surveymonkey.com. Create your own surveys for free.

A slightly incongruous snap of German generals, held at Trent Park as prisoners of war, amongst the wildflowers in a rat...
27/05/2021

A slightly incongruous snap of German generals, held at Trent Park as prisoners of war, amongst the wildflowers in a rather casual setting.

The idea at Trent Park was to lull high ranking prisoners into a sense of security, so that they were more likely to let something slip. They were treated to a relatively luxurious stay, often much to the anger and frustration of those around them. These tactics did work, however, and the Secret Listeners gained a remarkable amount of intelligence from supposedly 'private' conversations between prisoners.

A slightly incongruous snap of German generals, held at Trent Park as prisoners of war, amongst the wildflowers in a rather casual setting.

The idea at Trent Park was to lull high ranking prisoners into a sense of security, so that they were more likely to let something slip. They were treated to a relatively luxurious stay, often much to the anger and frustration of those around them. These tactics did work, however, and the Secret Listeners gained a remarkable amount of intelligence from supposedly 'private' conversations between prisoners.

Winston Churchill visited Trent Park multiple times, and particularly enjoyed painting its landscapes. The oil painting,...
23/05/2021

Winston Churchill visited Trent Park multiple times, and particularly enjoyed painting its landscapes. The oil painting, c. 1935, entitled 'The Lake at Trent Park' was sold at Sotheby's in 1969. It had been given to Churchill's valet, William Greenshields, who worked for him between 1948 and 1953.

Winston Churchill visited Trent Park multiple times, and particularly enjoyed painting its landscapes. The oil painting, c. 1935, entitled 'The Lake at Trent Park' was sold at Sotheby's in 1969. It had been given to Churchill's valet, William Greenshields, who worked for him between 1948 and 1953.

We need your help! We’d love you to take our audience development survey in order to help us think about how the museum ...
20/05/2021
Trent Park House: visitor survey

We need your help! We’d love you to take our audience development survey in order to help us think about how the museum experience will operate when Trent Park opens to the public.

Please share widely!

Take this survey powered by surveymonkey.com. Create your own surveys for free.

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Trent Park, Enfield
London
EN4 0PS

General information

The Trent Park Museum Trust is working to seek the establishment of Trent Park Museum within the Grade II listed mansion and beyond. It is formally recognised by Berkeley Homes, the owner of the site, as the relevant body to secure and oversee the development and eventual operation of the Museum. Please visit our website for more information: www.trentparkhouse.org.uk

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