Trent Park House

Trent Park House Home of the Secret Listeners
Trent Park House - Home of the Secret Listeners

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 as recent as 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.

Mission: Working on the establishment of a national visitor attraction and learning centre at Trent Park telling the extraordinary story it played in World War Two, as well as highlighting its fascinating pre-war history as the home of Sir Philip Sassoon and the Bevan family.

We are delighted to announce that we have received a grant from the Rothschild Foundation of £100,000 towards the capita...
15/07/2020

We are delighted to announce that we have received a grant from the Rothschild Foundation of £100,000 towards the capital costs of developing Trent Park House!

The Rothschild Foundation is a charity which supports a wide range of arts, heritage, environment and social welfare projects across the UK. Trent Park has historic links with the Rothschild Family - in 1908 Sir Edward Sassoon purchased Trent Park with his wife, Lady Aline Caroline de Rothschild (pictured as painted by John Singer Sargent) - with the estate passing to their son, Sir Philip Sassoon in 1912.

The Trustees express their sincere thanks to the Foundation for their very generous support towards Trent Park House.

There are still lots more funds to raise before we can make Trent Park House a reality! Please consider supporting us with a donation at www.trentparkhouse.org.uk/donate

Kick back, put your feet up and relax - it's the weekend! It's a well-known fact that Trent Park was the ‘place to be’ f...
10/07/2020

Kick back, put your feet up and relax - it's the weekend!

It's a well-known fact that Trent Park was the ‘place to be’ for anyone who was someone, and you knew you'd made it when you were invited to Sir Philip Sassoon’s beautiful Trent Park estate in the 1920s.

Hospitality was of the finest quality, with white-suited butlers buttoned up like elite RAF pilots, strawberries and cream served before champagne on the terrace at sunset, followed by canapés before dinner. At night a special event; the switching on of the floodlights which illuminated the lake (pictured).

The extravagance and attention to detail put even the most luxurious hotels to shame! The intention was for guests to enjoy themselves and relax in a splendid setting, surrounded by the very best in politics, art and royalty.

Wishing you all a happy weekend!

Restoration work at Trent Park House is well under way by Berkeley Group - although it’s not the first time in our histo...
03/07/2020

Restoration work at Trent Park House is well under way by Berkeley Group - although it’s not the first time in our history the house has been covered in scaffolding!

We are looking forward to getting our builders in soon to develop the exhibition space across the ground floor and basement - but fundraising must come first! If you can, please donate at www.trentparkhouse.org.uk/donate 🤞🏼

The Blue Room has seen a lot of history pass through it: the mural above the fireplace was painted by Rex Whistler for S...
29/06/2020

The Blue Room has seen a lot of history pass through it: the mural above the fireplace was painted by Rex Whistler for Sir Philip Sassoon, the room itself was later painted by Churchill on one of his painting trips to Trent Park. During WWII it was reincarnated as the office of Colonel Thomas Kendrick, the intelligence officer who led the ‘M Room’ operations and more recently, it was a classroom when the building was part of Middlesex Polytechnic (later Middlesex University)!

It’s a beautiful room, and we can’t wait to see how it will look in its new form 👀

The sun is set to shine all week - and we couldn’t help but think what a wonderful place Trent Park must have been in it...
22/06/2020

The sun is set to shine all week - and we couldn’t help but think what a wonderful place Trent Park must have been in its heyday ☀️

Pictured is Queen Mary (wife of George V) enjoying some sun under her parasol in the grounds AND the swimming pool outside the main house 💦

In the 1920s/30s, Trent Park was considered to be almost something of a rural retreat, outside the hustle of central London, but it would be hard to say the same today!

It's #FlashbackFriday and this week we're focusing on one of Trent Park's most famous visitors - Winston Churchill. Sir ...
05/06/2020

It's #FlashbackFriday and this week we're focusing on one of Trent Park's most famous visitors - Winston Churchill.

Sir Philip Sassoon was elected MP for Hythe & Folkestone in 1912, and quickly found favour from powerful politicians: he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to David Lloyd-George in 1920. At some point, Sassoon met Churchill, and he quickly became a frequent visitor to both Trent Park House, and Port Lympne in Kent, mingling with the rest of Sassoon’s glamorous, artistic and powerful friends. Sassoon encouraged Churchill’s love of painting, loaning him works by John Singer Sargent, and providing his houses as retreats when Churchill needed a break from the weighty and complex politics of the 1930s. Paintings of Wisteria Walk & ‘The Blue Room at Trent Park’ (1920) give an impression of how things might have appeared in Trent Park’s heyday.

Sir Philip also gave Churchill his first black swans in 1927. Churchill was devoted to these swans, and was supposed to have conversed with them in ‘swan talk’: to this day, Chartwell (Churchill's house in Kent) still has black swans swimming in its pond.

We're lucky enough to have double evidence of Churchill visiting Wisteria Walk - in the form of his painting, and a photograph of him there!

Did you, or someone you know, have a connection to Trent Park pre 1950? If so, we’d love to hear from you! We’re startin...
31/05/2020

Did you, or someone you know, have a connection to Trent Park pre 1950? If so, we’d love to hear from you!

We’re starting an oral history project to record as many first hand memories as possible of Trent Park before and during WWII, so please do share as widely as possible as we’re hoping that we might be able to uncover some more of Trent Park’s amazing story from a personal perspective. Follow the link below to the form on our website to get in touch with us ⬇️

https://www.trentparkhouse.org.uk/memories

This week’s #ThrowbackThursday is to the Duke & Duchess of Kent’s visit to Trent Park House as the second part of their ...
28/05/2020

This week’s #ThrowbackThursday is to the Duke & Duchess of Kent’s visit to Trent Park House as the second part of their honeymoon in December 1934: their signatures are pictured below in Philip Sassoon’s visitor book 🖋📖

Prince George, Duke of Kent, was the younger brother of Edward VIII and George VI. He married Princess Marina of Greece & Denmark on 29th November 1934, and the couple went on to have three children. Prince George was the last member of the royal family to die on active military service - he was shot down in an aeroplane in 1942, whilst serving in the RAF.

Philip Sassoon’s visitors’ book holds many more treasures that we hope to share with you in the coming weeks. Comment below if there’s anything, or anyone you’d like to see featured - or if there’s anything more you’d like to know!

We are delighted to annouce we have recently secured a grant from the #NationalLotteryHeritageFund!There are still a lot...
18/05/2020
Trent Park House

We are delighted to annouce we have recently secured a grant from the #NationalLotteryHeritageFund!

There are still a lot of funds to left to raise to ensure Trent Park House becomes a reality - we are applying to various big donors and foundations - but can we count on your support too?

Check out our new website www.trentparkhouse.org.uk and please consider making a donation! If fundraising succeeds we hope to open by Spring 2022!

(By the way you may have noticed we have changed our name from Trent Park Museum to Trent Park House! This was based on advice from the National Lottery and various other experts in the field. It's because once open we won't be a traditional museum but an immersive visitor experience - see the Vision section on our website for more details!)

Thank you for your continued support!

#InternationalMuseumDay 🏛

Military Intelligence Museum
09/10/2019

Military Intelligence Museum

The bugging operation at the Tower of London began in 1939. German prisoners-of-war were interrogated at the Tower, but unbeknownst to them their cells were bugged so British intelligence could hear every word they said!

The unit in charge of these interrogations was named the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre (CSDIC), such a long title was created to mask the true nature of the unit’s secret operations.

However, the Tower of London could never remain as the unit's permanent location as it could only hold 120 prisoners at a time.

Trent Park, pictured, was chosen for the new site, situated in Cockfosters, London, and the mansion house was quickly requisitioned from the Sassoon family. As the operation expanded, as did the locations. Latimer House and Wilton Park were also requisitioned for interrogation purposes. Trent Park Museum

A major feature yesterday about our last surviving secret listener Eric Mark: https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1177259/...
14/09/2019
WW2 real spies: How Nazis were pampered into revealing secrets - and the man who listened

A major feature yesterday about our last surviving secret listener Eric Mark: https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1177259/WW2-news-spies-nazis-secrets-the-ritz-eric-mark

WATCHING and listening as captured Nazi generals gorged themselves on fine food and the best wines in the sumptuous surroundings of Simpson’s restaurant at The Strand in London, Eric Mark struggled to keep his emotions under control.

When The Walls Had Ears…
02/09/2019
When The Walls Had Ears…

When The Walls Had Ears…

Helen Fry reveals a hitherto unknown Anglo-American Intelligence operation of World War II

Friends of the Intelligence Corps Museum
13/08/2019

Friends of the Intelligence Corps Museum

During the Corps Day celebrations we were privileged to be able to welcome Eric Mark to the ranks of the Friends of the Intelligence Corps Museum.

Eric was sent to England by his parents as a 12 year old in 1935 to escape Nazi persecution. After being interned on the Isle of Wight he volunteered for the British Army. Initially serving with Pioneer Corps, his languarge skills were eventually put to use in 1944 when he transferred to the Intelligence Corps and worked at Trent Park Museum.

Eric is the last of the "Secret Listeners". Big thanks to Helen Fry for helping to make this happen.

Friends can read more about this in the Summer edition of "Sub Rosa" our award winning newsletter.

Aviation artist Steve Williams is generously painting the wartime story of the bugging operation on canvas... here's the...
28/07/2019

Aviation artist Steve Williams is generously painting the wartime story of the bugging operation on canvas... here's the work in progress for Trent Park Museum. He recently did the same act of generosity for Bletchley Park for the centenary of GCHQ [this image is copyrighted - please feel free to share the post but not to download - thanks]

TRUSTEE VACANCIES! Do you have the skills and time to contribute towards the establishment of Trent Park Museum as a mem...
18/07/2019

TRUSTEE VACANCIES!

Do you have the skills and time to contribute towards the establishment of Trent Park Museum as a member of the Board of Trustees?

We are currently looking for a Treasurer Trustee, but are also interested in hearing from anyone who has professional skills and experience (in the legal, business or fundraising fields) who has the time and expertise to help.

If you or anyone you know is interested please see the details of how to apply below (deadline 11th August):

Trent Park will be featuring at a number of exciting events at the Museum of Enfield in October and November!Please see ...
12/07/2019

Trent Park will be featuring at a number of exciting events at the Museum of Enfield in October and November!

Please see details below and if you would like to attend please contact the the Museum of Enfield directly ([email protected])

Trent Park Museum and our fundraising launch has featured in the current edition of Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine!For mo...
27/06/2019

Trent Park Museum and our fundraising launch has featured in the current edition of Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine!

For more information on how you can donate to support our efforts to establish a Museum at Trent Park by 2022 - please visit www.trentparkmuseum.org.uk/donations

Don't miss this feature article on Trent Park Museum in the current edition of The Lady Magazine! Wonderful four page sp...
19/06/2019

Don't miss this feature article on Trent Park Museum in the current edition of The Lady Magazine!

Wonderful four page spread covering Trent Park's amazing and unique 20th Century history.

Visit our website www.trentparkmuseum.org.uk to see how you can support us with our fundraising efforts!

With our fundraising efforts in full swing, our Trustee Chairman Jason Charalambous & Deputy Chair Dr Helen Fry showed p...
11/05/2019

With our fundraising efforts in full swing, our Trustee Chairman Jason Charalambous & Deputy Chair Dr Helen Fry showed potential donors around Trent Park this week - where works are well underway!

We can only succeed with creating our vision with your support - to make a donation visit www.trentparkmuseum.org.uk/donations or send us a message via this page - thank you.

Studio MB
05/04/2019

Studio MB

SMB are thrilled to announce we’ll be designing the new Trent Park Museum! This unique story of WWII intelligence gathering will bring the contribution of secret listeners to light and create an immersive, engaging experience for all ages.

Find out more about this exciting project here - http://trentparkmuseum.org.uk

22/03/2019

Why does our history matter... watch this brief clip

Work is steaming ahead around the site and in readiness for the museum. Behind the scenes, essential engineering work is...
22/03/2019

Work is steaming ahead around the site and in readiness for the museum. Behind the scenes, essential engineering work is being done to prepare the house for renovation

Who does Helen Lederer meet on screen tomorrow at Trent Park? Uncovering the secret world of WW2 - dont forget to watch ...
08/11/2018

Who does Helen Lederer meet on screen tomorrow at Trent Park? Uncovering the secret world of WW2 - dont forget to watch "Home Front Heroes" on BBC1 tomorrow at 9.15am

Don't miss Trustee Helen Lederer on BBC 1 tomorrow morning at 9:15 where she will be talking about her grandfather's 'se...
08/11/2018
Helen Fry, Eric Mark and Helen Lederer - Helen Lederer - Episode 5, Series 1, Home Front Heroes - BBC One

Don't miss Trustee Helen Lederer on BBC 1 tomorrow morning at 9:15 where she will be talking about her grandfather's 'secret' role at Trent Park during #WorldWarTwo! https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06q5wlb/p06q5wgz

Helen also spoke to the Telegraph who covered Ernst Lederer's amazing life - see www.telegraph.co.uk/property/uk/helen-lederer-discovered-grandfather-secretly-spying-nazis/

Fundraising is well underway for this exciting Museum - support us by visiting www.trentparkmuseum.org.uk

Helen with Historian Helen Fry and former Secret Listener Eric Mark

Jason Charalambous
08/11/2018

Jason Charalambous

Good to catch up with Tony Pidgley CBE, Chairman of the Berkeley Group and Executive Director Justin Tibaldi who are supporting the establishment of Trent Park Museum, together with Trustees the Marquess of Cholmondeley and Dr Helen Fry.

Trent Park will feature on BBC 1's Home Front Heroes at 9:15 tomorrow morning (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06q5wlb/p06q5wgz), where Trustee Helen Lederer will talk about her #veteran grandfather's 'secret' life there during #WorldWarTwo - which was also covered in Monday's The Telegraph article (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/uk/helen-lederer-discovered-grandfather-secretly-spying-nazis/).

#Fundraising is well underway - learn more about the project and how you can support us by visiting www.trentparkmuseum.org.uk!

"Secrets & Spies": actress Helen Lederer in conversation with Trudy Gold at Trent Park. Limited Tickets now available - ...
29/10/2018

"Secrets & Spies": actress Helen Lederer in conversation with Trudy Gold at Trent Park. Limited Tickets now available - Sunday 11 November 4pm-6pm. £45 - total amount goes to much needed Museum funds. To book, please email: [email protected]

We need you help to make the museum a reality... we are well on the way, please follow donation link on our website: ttp...
27/08/2018
Donate – Trent Park Museum – Home of the Secret Listeners

We need you help to make the museum a reality... we are well on the way, please follow donation link on our website: ttp://trentparkmuseum.org.uk/donations/

Donate This is a £5.5 million project…. We have already raised £2.7 million. To succeed with the establishment of Trent Park Museum, we are relying on financial donations. This is your museum – and a vital part of our national heritage, now recognised as being on a par with Bletchley Park. You...

The Museum is steaming ahead - we need to keep to schedule. We urgently need to raise £10,000 for initial works. Please ...
07/06/2018
Trent Park Museum Trust on MyDonate

The Museum is steaming ahead - we need to keep to schedule. We urgently need to raise £10,000 for initial works. Please donate via our fundraising page: support us and consider a donation. No amount above £1 is too small ! Your donation will really help us. Thanks! htps://mydonate.bt.com/charities/trentparkmuseumtrust

Trent Park Museum Trust is a charitable incorporated organisation, formed in 2016 to establish a museum on the ground floor and basement of Trent...

Yesterday would have been secret listener Fritz Lustig's 99 birthday. RIP - we miss you and we will not forget you - the...
01/04/2018

Yesterday would have been secret listener Fritz Lustig's 99 birthday. RIP - we miss you and we will not forget you - the legacy of the secret listeners will be remembered by our nation always

Impressed with the high standard of demolition by Berkeley Homes. Where's the dust!!! Impressive management on site
10/02/2018

Impressed with the high standard of demolition by Berkeley Homes. Where's the dust!!! Impressive management on site

We are pleased to see the work on site is well underway... plotting its progress
10/02/2018

We are pleased to see the work on site is well underway... plotting its progress

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Cockfosters Road
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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