Churchill War Rooms

Churchill War Rooms The Churchill Museum is the first museum dedicated to the life and achievements of Sir Winston Church
(1427)

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Listen to Fun Kids' Bex visit Churchill War Rooms in a new episode of Activity Quest, exploring the historic underground...
03/10/2023

Listen to Fun Kids' Bex visit Churchill War Rooms in a new episode of Activity Quest, exploring the historic underground bunker that allowed Britain’s leaders to plot the allied route to victory during the Second World War.

Find out more:

News, video and fun for kids!

14/09/2023

Churchill War Rooms is currently closed. If you have booked a ticket for today and wish to reschedule your visit please contact our customer service team. Please check this page for any updates.

Discover the story of Peggy Cochrane, who worked at the War Rooms during the Second World War, in this clip from The One...
05/06/2023

Discover the story of Peggy Cochrane, who worked at the War Rooms during the Second World War, in this clip from The One Show, first aired on BBC One, 16 May 2023.

A series of letters, written from Peggy to her then boyfriend Ron, were donated to IWM in 2022. They provide a compelling insight into Peggy’s life as a modern woman in wartime Britain.

Watch now: https://bbc.in/3NeEO8x

How one woman's letters during Britain’s War efforts provided key insight into history.

A series of maps in Churchill's bedroom show Britain's main coastal and air defence installations, as well as possible l...
02/06/2023

A series of maps in Churchill's bedroom show Britain's main coastal and air defence installations, as well as possible landing sites for a German invasion - the Prime Minister's chief concern in the dark days of 1940.

Curtains were provided so that the maps could be discreetly covered while Churchill was entertaining visitors in his room.

Winston Churchill, in his famous 'siren suit', stands with his hand on a British officer's shoulder while smoking a ciga...
29/05/2023

Winston Churchill, in his famous 'siren suit', stands with his hand on a British officer's shoulder while smoking a cigar at the British Embassy in Cairo in August 1942.

© IWM ME(RAF) 7830

The white metal ventilation duct which snakes around the ceiling of the Cabinet Room was installed in the autumn of 1939...
26/05/2023

The white metal ventilation duct which snakes around the ceiling of the Cabinet Room was installed in the autumn of 1939. It was the last improvement required to make the room fit for purpose.

Small electric fans like this one were also mounted on the walls to improve the atmosphere, but they could do little more than keep circulating the clouds of cigarette and cigar smoke billowing up from the table.

This evening, hear the story of Peggy Cochrane (pictured left), who worked at the Cabinet War Rooms, on The One Show, 7p...
16/05/2023

This evening, hear the story of Peggy Cochrane (pictured left), who worked at the Cabinet War Rooms, on The One Show, 7pm on BBC One.

In May 1945, Germany surrendered and crowds of people took to the streets of London to mark VE Day.

Peggy wrote to her boyfriend Ron: 'It was all one seething mass of people, very colourful, with the women all wearing their brightest frocks...lots of red and bright blue.’

Despite enjoying the celebrations, Peggy admits that her mind was elsewhere: 'I couldn't help wondering... how you and all the other men who made it possible were spending the day.'

She also remarks how thankful she was to be in the capital: 'I felt that of all places to be on that day, London was the only one... I wouldn't have been anywhere else for anything in the world!'

Learn more about Peggy and the women of the War Rooms here: https://bit.ly/42bblkp

Winston Churchill, wearing his famous 'John Bull' hat, studies reports of the day's action with Vice Admiral Sir Bertram...
15/05/2023

Winston Churchill, wearing his famous 'John Bull' hat, studies reports of the day's action with Vice Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, Flag Officer Commanding Dover, 28 August 1940.

© IWM H 3508

On 24 May, join best-selling author Damien Lewis for a talk about his latest book, 'SAS Great Escapes 2', and experience...
11/05/2023

On 24 May, join best-selling author Damien Lewis for a talk about his latest book, 'SAS Great Escapes 2', and experience Churchill War Rooms in an exclusive after-hours setting.

Inspired by the incredible true story of how his 2021 book, 'SAS Great Escapes', saved one man's life, Damien was moved to write a sequel.

In that spirit, 'SAS Great Escapes 2' reveals how SAS men overcame insurmountable odds to pull off epic escapes during the Second World War.

Tickets on sale now: https://bit.ly/3HnGd98

Room 61 Right was the emergency office and bedroom of General Hastings Ismay. On the other side of a partition, Room 61 ...
08/05/2023

Room 61 Right was the emergency office and bedroom of General Hastings Ismay. On the other side of a partition, Room 61 Left was set aside for his two Private Secretaries.

Both partitions in Room 61 were fitted out in basic fashion but, as a senior officer, Ismay enjoyed the relative luxury afforded by the addition of some carpet.

IWM would like to extend congratulations and best wishes to Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla on the oc...
06/05/2023

IWM would like to extend congratulations and best wishes to Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla on the occasion of the Coronation.

Here a young Prince Charles looks through a periscope onboard the submarine HMS Churchill, February 1972.

Please note that Churchill War Rooms will be closed today, Saturday 6 May due to the Coronation.

©IWM A 35382

Winston Churchill, wearing a steel helmet and mackintosh, waits for a flying bomb to arrive whilst inspecting anti-flyin...
05/05/2023

Winston Churchill, wearing a steel helmet and mackintosh, waits for a flying bomb to arrive whilst inspecting anti-flying bomb defences in southern England, 30 June 1944.

Join our expert guides for a fascinating early-bird tour exploring highlights from the War Rooms.Starting before we open...
04/05/2023

Join our expert guides for a fascinating early-bird tour exploring highlights from the War Rooms.

Starting before we open to the public, this tour covers what it was like to live and work beneath the streets of London during the Second World War, navigates you through the secret corridors, and explores more about the character and actions of Churchill himself.

Book now: https://bit.ly/40HVtVb

Churchill salutes allied troops in the amphitheatre at Carthage, near Tunis, during a visit to North Africa in June 1943...
28/04/2023

Churchill salutes allied troops in the amphitheatre at Carthage, near Tunis, during a visit to North Africa in June 1943.

© IWM NA 3252

During the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940, Map Room staff would chalk up on this blackboard the number of enemy...
23/04/2023

During the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940, Map Room staff would chalk up on this blackboard the number of enemy aircraft destroyed each day.

Later, one of the staff painted in these figures from 15 September to create a permanent record of the day the battle decisively turned in Britain's favour.

This photograph shows Churchill at the controls of a Boeing 314 Clipper flying boat in 1942. If 1940 was about Britain's...
16/04/2023

This photograph shows Churchill at the controls of a Boeing 314 Clipper flying boat in 1942.

If 1940 was about Britain's fight for survival and 1941 about its need for allies, 1942 could be said to be about Churchill's survival as prime minister, and his desperate need for any kind of military success.

© IWM H 16645

When more copies of a document were needed, a stencil was prepared for use in a Gestetner copier like this one. The sten...
15/04/2023

When more copies of a document were needed, a stencil was prepared for use in a Gestetner copier like this one. The stencil was put in place, the ink readied and paper was wound through the machine using a hand-operated crank. It was a laborious but essential process.

During the latter part of the Second World War, Room 62B was assigned to the 'Camp Commandant', the man responsible for ...
14/04/2023

During the latter part of the Second World War, Room 62B was assigned to the 'Camp Commandant', the man responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the War Rooms.

This key rack, containing keys to every room in the Cabinet War Rooms' complex, dates back to that part of the room's occupation. Prior to this, the room had acted as emergency accommodation to Commander-in-Chief of the Home Forces, General Sir Alan Brooke.

Winston Churchill addresses American Naval and Army Cadets at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on 6 Septe...
12/04/2023

Winston Churchill addresses American Naval and Army Cadets at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on 6 September 1943 - the same day as he was presented with an honourary degree by the university.

© IWM H 32728

Churchill, dressed in his characteristic siren suit, strides purposefully across the lawn at the White House, Washington...
30/03/2023

Churchill, dressed in his characteristic siren suit, strides purposefully across the lawn at the White House, Washington DC, 3 January 1942.

© IWM A 6920

Churchill's Personal Secretary used this headset to listen in and make notes on conversations between the Prime Minister...
27/03/2023

Churchill's Personal Secretary used this headset to listen in and make notes on conversations between the Prime Minister and US President Roosevelt made from the Transatlantic Telephone Room.

The presence of two people in the narrow confines of the room must have added to its claustrophobic atmosphere.

Despite being a top secret underground nerve centre, the Cabinet War Rooms had a visitors book. Compiled between October...
24/03/2023

Despite being a top secret underground nerve centre, the Cabinet War Rooms had a visitors book. Compiled between October 1939 and April 1945, it contains the signatures of many VIPs.

Signatories include King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Dwight Eisenhower, Clement Attlee, Field Marshal Smuts, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding and of course, Churchill himself.

Churchill, using a Thompson 'Tommy' submachine gun, and General Dwight D Eisenhower take aim as American soldiers look o...
20/03/2023

Churchill, using a Thompson 'Tommy' submachine gun, and General Dwight D Eisenhower take aim as American soldiers look on, March 1944.

© IWM H 36960

Churchill insisted that all documents were punched and tagged rather than stapled or paper clipped. In front of Churchil...
16/03/2023

Churchill insisted that all documents were punched and tagged rather than stapled or paper clipped. In front of Churchill's chair in the Cabinet Room sits his preferred type of hole punch, which he referred to as his 'klop'.

One member of staff remembers stapling a document and sending it to the Prime Minster, who promptly cut his finger on it.

Fortunately, the War Rooms staff never had to act on the advice given on this sign. The closest the site came to a direc...
13/03/2023

Fortunately, the War Rooms staff never had to act on the advice given on this sign. The closest the site came to a direct hit was in September 1940 when a bomb left a crater near the Clive Steps, where the entrance to Churchill War Rooms now stands.

Throughout the darkest days of the Blitz, shifts of switchboard operators would work, two at a time, in Room 60 Right (p...
09/03/2023

Throughout the darkest days of the Blitz, shifts of switchboard operators would work, two at a time, in Room 60 Right (pictured) at all hours of the day and night. It was their job to connect the War Rooms to the outside world.

'(Churchill's) command of English is magnificent; but strangely enough, although he makes me laugh, he leaves me unmoved...
06/03/2023

'(Churchill's) command of English is magnificent; but strangely enough, although he makes me laugh, he leaves me unmoved. There is always the quite inescapable suspicion that he loves war, war which broke (former Prime Minister) Neville Chamberlain's heart.'

- Diary entry by Conservative MP Sir Henry Channon, 20 June 1940

© IWM NYP 045063

In spring 1940, a General HQ for Britain's Home Forces was set up in Hammersmith, a couple of miles away from the War Ro...
02/03/2023

In spring 1940, a General HQ for Britain's Home Forces was set up in Hammersmith, a couple of miles away from the War Rooms. Its staff would be responsible for coordinating the defence of the country in the unlikely event - or so it seemed at the time - of a German invasion.

After the fall of France, the threat of invasion became all too real, and arrangements were made to establish an Advanced HQ for the Home Forces in the War Rooms. Hasty preparations were made to free up Rooms 62, 62A and 62B for this purpose.

This propaganda poster, published in 1941, uses Churchill's powerful oratory in urging those working in war industries t...
28/02/2023

This propaganda poster, published in 1941, uses Churchill's powerful oratory in urging those working in war industries to increase their output.

© Art.IWM PST 14228

The Cabinet Room has been preserved to look the way it would have done moments before a meeting of the War Cabinet held ...
28/02/2023

The Cabinet Room has been preserved to look the way it would have done moments before a meeting of the War Cabinet held there at 5pm on 15 October 1940.

Bombs had caused severe damage to 10 Downing Street the previous evening and this had finally persuaded Churchill to meet in the War Rooms on a regular basis.

Address

Clive Steps, King Charles Street
London
SW1A2

Opening Hours

Monday 9:30am - 6pm
Tuesday 9:30am - 6pm
Wednesday 9:30am - 6pm
Thursday 9:30am - 6pm
Friday 9:30am - 6pm
Saturday 9:30am - 6pm
Sunday 9:30am - 7pm

Telephone

+442074165000

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