Kentwell News


Saturday October 30th and Sunday October 31st 1999

Kentwell Hall the moated Tudor mansion in Long Melford has long been noted for its Re-Creations of Tudor life. What is not so well known is that Kentwell like many other a large mansion was requisitioned during WWII as a transit camp.

During the War many troops stayed at Kentwell in nissen huts erected in the grounds. Some stayed for a few months others for only a few days.

"I was a small child in the later years of the war and remember vividly the 'doodlebugs' or rockets and having to shelter under tables, in cellars, in Underground stations in London and in shelters," says Patrick Phillips of Kentwell. "The war was as vital a time in the history of Kentwell as any and because of my own nostalgia I delight in re-creating that time for others."

So what will visitors see?

"Mr and Mrs Starkie Bence, the then owners of Kentwell, were able in inhabit a small part of the House", Patrick Phillips says. "This was lucky as some families were entirely evicted. Most of the House was taken over by the small permanent garrison which ran the transit camp."

"We shall represent the family, their staff, visitors and tradesmen as well as a small military presence", he continued. We are dealing with 1940, although some of the darkest days of the war, the camp here was only just then being set up."

"We shall have cooks in the kitchen and hope to have wirelesses working with the music and programmes of the day, as well as relevant papers and magazines to bring the times back to those who remember them and to create them afresh for those too young to know."

The Event will be open from 11 till 5 each day. There is no need to book. Tickets may be purchased at the gate - Adults 6.50, Children 4.40 and OAP's 5.60.

For further information: contact Alex Scott or Nicola Carr on telephone number 01787 310 207.

Telephone: 01787 310 207
Facsimile:   01787 379 318

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