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Trent Park Museum Trust launches oral history project

People who have a connection to the incredible history of Trent Park House will have their memories recorded for a new museum

The 'secret listeners' at Trent Park recorded Nazi conversations
The ‘secret listeners’ at Trent Park recorded Nazi conversations

Memories and stories from people connected to the history of Trent Park House will be recorded and “brought to life” thanks to a new lottery-funded project

The Grade 2-listed Georgian mansion – which played a key role in the Second World War when the conversations of captured Nazis were recorded by a team of ‘secret listeners’ – is currently being restored. A new museum had been due to open this year, but this has now been put back until 2025.

Last year The National Lottery Heritage Fund announced it was giving £225,000 to Trent Park Museum Trust for an oral history project which would “bring Trent Park to life”. This week the Cockfosters charity announced it was now launching the project, with the aim of preserving the rich history of the house through the collection of stories and memories from those who have a personal connection to it.

Jen Kavanagh, community engagement manager at Trent Park House, said: “Preserving the personal stories and memories of those who have a connection to Trent Park House is vital to both our understanding of the house’s history but also to provide a meaningful way for people to connect with this important piece of history.

“We’re delighted to have this support thanks to National Lottery players, and we’re really excited to bring these stories to life and share the hidden histories of Trent Park House.”

The personal stories will be shared through a variety of mediums, including audio recordings and transcripts. They will form an online archive that will explore the history of the Second World War secret listeners as well as being used for the museum and website, which are currently under development.

Stuart McLeod from The National Lottery Heritage Fund added: “We are delighted to support Trent Park House in recording its heritage and stories. This grant, made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, ensures that the voices and memories of the community can be heard for generations to come.

“We’re lucky to have fascinating heritage on our doorstep and we know it is a great way of bringing people together and creating a sense of pride of place.”

The oral history project will be led by Rib Davis, who has been actively involved in the collection and dissemination of oral history for over 40 years.

Anyone with a personal connection to Trent Park House are encouraged to get in touch with the museum trust:
Visit trentparkhouse.org.uk