Help us shape the future of Trent Park House

Anna Husband from Trent Park House Trust invites local people to submit their views ahead of its reopening as a museum and education centre

Trent Park House, famous for hosting the 'Secret Listeners' during the Second World War, is currently being restored to its former glory
Trent Park House, famous for hosting the ‘Secret Listeners’ during the Second World War, is currently being restored to its former glory

At Trent Park House Trust we’re now seeking the views of local people as we prepare to open to the public as a museum and reveal the building’s extraordinary history.

One of London’s grandest houses – described by Historic England as being “of national and international significance on a level with Bletchley Park” – Trent Park House played a pivotal role in the Second World War. Requisitioned by the government, it was transformed into a prisoner of war camp for high-ranking German and Italian officers, and wired for sound with a complex network of state-of-the-art bugging devices.

Unbeknownst to the prisoners on the floors above, a team of ‘Secret Listeners’ – many of them German-Jewish migrants who had escaped persecution in Nazi Germany – listened in to their conversations from the basement, making extraordinary discoveries that would change the course of the war.

In the lead up to the war, Trent Park was home to Sir Philip Sassoon, a member of the prominent Jewish Rothschild-Sassoon family, an MP, government minister, and one of history’s great society hosts. He was at the centre of British inter-war politics, modelling Trent Park to be the perfect political and social venue. He created a sumptuous atmosphere, entertaining esteemed guests such as King George V, Edward VIII, Wallace Simpson, a young Princess Elizabeth, Sir Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Rex Whistler and TE Lawrence.

This powerful and evocative house continues to captivate all who engage with its unique history. The vision is to bring its stories to life, engaging visitors in a vivid and creative way, combining original artefacts with innovative interpretation. Visitors will travel through the magnificently restored and furnished rooms of Sir Philip Sassoon’s socialite and political world to reveal the later clandestine operation against top military commanders.

The stories hidden within the fabric of Trent Park House reveal a varied, dynamic and nationally important history. A dedicated learning and engagement programme for schools and community groups will support the experiences created in the house, and enhance understanding of some of its more complex and sensitive stories.

In the project team we are now seeking the views of local people, through an online survey, to help shape what the building will offer and bring its extraordinary stories to life, for a diverse audience. Please help us by taking part in the survey before Wednesday 14th July – we would love to hear from you!

Take part in the survey for individuals:
Visit surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CZ8QCVS

Take part in the survey for schools:
Visit surveymonkey.co.uk/r/C6PZL3S

Find out more about Trent Park House:
Visit trentparkhouse.org.uk