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SOUTH EAST ENGLAND 

BATTLEFIELD AND MILITARY HERITAGE 

If you are  looking for something to do for an afternoon while on holiday somewhere in Britian, we can find a local expert guide for the battlefield and arrange a tour for you.  

 

This  corner of England closest to the continent of Europe has the been the site of the major battles against foreign invaders, Ancient Britions v Romans; Saxons v Normans and the Luftwaffe v the RAF, and of castles such as Dover and Rochester as well as some of the battles sucvh as Lewes 1264 that shaped our country. 


Events in the South East

If you are planning a tour to Britian, and would like to take in some of the spectacle of our military heritage we can help you to take advantage of the dozens of re-enactment and other events staged around the country.


We will be adding an events calendar so you can see what is on and where!

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Based in Deepcut Camberley, the RLC museum tells the story of logistical support to the British Army from the time of Oliver Cromwell to the present. Here the visitor can examine how over the last 500 years the soldier has been transported, fed, supplied with arms and equipment and kept in touch with loved ones.

Berkhampstead Castle (Siege 1216)

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A ruined Norman motte-and-bailey castle at Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, England. The castle was besieged in 1216 during the civil war between King John and rebel barons, backed by France. It was successfully taken after Prince Louis, the future Louis VIII, attacked it with siege engines for twenty days, leading the garrison to surrender. Reclaimed by royal forces the subsequent year.

REME Muusem of Tehcnology 

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The Museum in Arbourfield Garrisn Readign reflects the proud history and role of the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Spread over a four and a half acre site, the Museum has a comprehensive collection of artefacts and exhibits illustrating the extensive scope of the REME Tradesman’s responsibilities and activities in maintaining and repairing the Army’s inventory of equipment. The spectacular displays include examples of wheeled, tracked and armoured recovery and repair vehicles, medals, pictures and one of the finest small arms collections in the country

AIR FORCE MEMORIAL RUNNYMEDE (1939-45)

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The Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede commemorates by name over 20,000 airmen who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves. They served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands, and came from all parts of the Commonwealth. Some were from countries in continental Europe which had been overrun but whose airmen continued to fight in the ranks of the Royal Air Force.

Brookwood Military Cemetery 1914-19 and 1939-45

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Brookwood Military Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the United Kingdom, covering approximately 37 acres. It contains over 5,000 commonwealth burials from the world wars, approcimately 800 ofrom other nations including the American WW1 Cemetery. The Brookwood Memorial commemorates 3,500 men and women of the land forces of the Commonwealth who died during the Second World War and have no known grave, and not commeorated on any of the campaign memorials.

Odiham Castle (Siege 1216)

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Odiham Castle is one of only three fortresses built by King John during his reign. IT is possible that he rode out from Odiham to Runnymede where he met the barons and signed the Magna Carta. A year later Odiham Castle was captured by the French after a two-week siege during the First Barons' War in 1216. The garrison of just 13 surrendered on July 9 1216

Eastbourne Redoubt

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The Eastbourne Redoubt was built between 1804 and 1810 to support the associated Martello towers in defending against the threat of an invasion by Napoleon. It is now the largest military museum in south east England. It contains military collections of The Royal Sussex Regiment who moved to the museum in 1983, The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars and the founding collection, the Sussex Combined Services. In addition the museum also features displays on the History of the British Army, the Life of the Redoubt display and a model of the Redoubt Fortress.

Aldershot Military Museum

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The museum tells the story of the home of the British Army from 1854 to the present day, as well as the local history of Aldershot and Farnborough. From the Victorian Soldier to National Service, the museum uses photographs, models, displays and ‘hands on’ activities to give an insight into a soldier’s domestic and military life.

The Surrey Infantry Museum

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Housed in the National Trust property of Clandon Park, the museum tells the story of England’s senior infantry regiment and its antecedent three county regiments of Surrey in a comprehensive display of important objects covering the period 1661 to the present day. 

Bletchley Park (1939-45)

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During the Second World War, Bletchley Park was the site of the United Kingdom's main decryption establishment, the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), where ciphers and codes of several Axis countries were decrypted, most importantly the ciphers generated by the German Enigma and Lorenz machines. The high-level intelligence produced at Bletchley Park, codenamed Ultra, provided crucial assistance to the Allied war effort. The Bletchly Park museum's main collection of objects relating to the wartime codebreaking effort include the rebuilt bombe, and the Enigma collection. It also contains Stephen Kettle's 1.5-ton, life-size statue of Alan Turing, which was unveiled at Bletchley Park in 2007.

St Albans 1453 and 1461 

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The two battles of St Albans were key events in the Wars of the Roses. The first battle of the Wars of the Roses took place in the centre of St Albans. The First Battle of St Albans, fought on 22 May 1455, traditionally marks the beginning of the Wars of the Roses. Richard, Duke of York and his ally, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, defeated the Lancastrians under Edmund, Duke of Somerset, who was killed. With King Henry VI captured, the parliament appointed Richard, Duke of York, Lord Protector. The Second Battle of St Albans was fought on 17 February 1461. The army of the Yorkist faction under the Earl of Warwick attempted to bar the road to London north of the town. The rival Lancastrian army used a wide outflanking manoeuvre to take Warwick by surprise, cut him off from London, and drive his army from the field. The victors also released the feeble King Henry, who had been Warwick's prisoner, from his captivity.

Shuttleworth Collections

The Shuttleworth Collection is one of the most prestigious aeronautical museums in the world due to the variety of old and well-preserved aircraft. These inlcude the world's oldest aeroplane with the earliest aero-engine in flying condition, a 1909 Bleriot XI of the same type used by the RFC in 1914. Other airtcraft in the collection include orginal and repleca WW1 and WW2 aircraft. It is located at the Old Warden airfield in Bedfordshire, England.

North Weald Airfield Museum

Established by the Royal Flying Corps in 1916, North Weald Bassett Aerodrome became RAF North Weald and was an important fighter station in the Battle of Britain. Now a civilian airfield it still has an original hangar from 1927. The museum focuses on those who served at North Weald in both world wars, including the American and Norwegian squadrons stationed there in the Second World War. There is a memorial with an obelisk given by the people of Norway in 1952.

The Kent and Shapshooters Museum 

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This museum preserves and presents the heritage of several Yeomanry (Volunteer cavalry) units in the South East of England. The museum is currently based in TA Centres in South London but is expected to move to Hever Castle Kent.  

Royal Engineers Museum Gillingham

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The Royal Engineers Museum is the corps museum covering the story of the Royal Engineers and military engineering.

Battle of Maidstone (1 June 1648)

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The Battle of Maidstone was fought in the Second English Civil War and was a victory for the attacking parliamentarian troops over the defending Royalist forces.  Several buildings had=ve surived and can be interpreted with a guide.

Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Collection

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The Regimental musuem of this fine county Regiment, Maidstone Museum and Art Centre..

Rochester Castle (Seige 1215)

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Strategically placed astride the London Road, this imposing fortress guarded an important crossing of the River Medway. In 1215, garrisoned by rebel barons, the castle endured an epic siege by King John. Having first undermined the outer wall, John used the fat of 40 pigs to fire a mine under the keep, bringing its southern corner crashing down. Even then the defenders held on, until they were eventually starved out after resisting for two months.

Battle of Britain Memorial Capel-le-Ferne

The Battle of Britain Memorial is a monument to aircrew who flew in the Battle of Britain. It is sited on the White Cliffs at Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone, on the coast of Kent. Also on the site are replicas of a Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire and the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall, on which appears the names of the almost 3000 fighter aircrew who flew in the Battle.

Newhaven Fort 

Newhaven Fort is a Palmerston fort built in the 19th century to defend the harbour at Newhaven, on the south coast of England. It was the largest defence work ever built in Sussex and is now open as a museum. It is home to the Sussex & Surrey Yeomanry Museum Collection

Eastbourne Redoubt

The Eastbourne Redoubt was built between 1804 and 1810 to support the associated Martello towers in defending against the threat of an invasion by Napoleon. It is now the largest military museum in south east England. It contains military collections of The Royal Sussex Regiment who moved to the museum in 1983, The Queen's Royal Irish Hussars and the founding collection, the Sussex Combined Services. In addition the museum also features displays on the History of the British Army, the Life of the Redoubt display and a model of the Redoubt Fortress. 

Saint George's Royal Air Force Chapel of Remembrance Biggin Hill

The Chapel, which is an active church, is situated on the Main Road (A233) north of Biggin Hill village. The entrance is flanked by full-scale replicas of a Hurricane and a Spitfire. 

Kent Battle of Britain Museum  Hawkinge airfield 1939-45

Based on the Former RAF Station Hawkinge, the nearest Royal Air Force station to enemy-occupied France and only some ten minutes flying time away from the Luftwaffe fighter airfields in the Pas-de-Calais and in range of German shore batteries stationed along the French coast. Not for nothing was the Folkestone area known as "Hellfire Corner". Despite the passing years today's visitor can still savour the atmosphere of the airfield's past with the landmarks and buildings that remain, acting as points of reference, whilst beyond can be seen the English Channel and the French coast. The volunteer run museum has a fine collection of battle of Britian memoribilia as well as historic and replica aircraft.

Battle of Lewes 1263

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One of two main battles of the the Second Barons' War. It marked the high point of the career of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, and made him the "uncrowned King of England." The royalists fled back to the castle and priory and the King was forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, ceding many of his powers to de Montfort.

Shoreham Aircraft Museum Sevenoaks

The Shoreham Aircraft Museum was founded in 1978 by local enthusiasts.  The Museum houses hundreds of aviation relics excavated by the group over many years from crashed British and German aircraft, as well as items which have been kindly donated.

Pevensey Castle AD 491-1945

Pevensey Castle was first documented as a Saxon Shore fort. According to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle it was besieged and captured by the Saxons in 491 AD. It was a key location in the 1066 invasion occuped by Harold and William durign the course of the year. In medieval times the Norman castle was beseiged in the rebellion by Willaim Rufus and again in the wars between Stephen and Matilda and the refuge for Henry III's troops after the defeat at Lewes. Even in WW2 the fortifacations of the castle were improved by the addition of bunkers and pill boxes.

 

Maldon AD 991

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During the reign of Aethelred the Unready. Earl Byrhtnoth and his thegns led the English against a Viking invasion. The battle ended in an Anglo-Saxon defeat. An account of the battle, embellished with many speeches attributed to the warriors and with other details, is related in an Old English poem which is usually named The Battle of Maldon. A modern embroidery created for the millennium celebration in 1991 and, in part, depicting the battle, can be seen at the Maeldune Centre in Maldon.

Stow Maries Airfield Essex

This is the only airfield from the First World War preserved in its original form. It was home to No 37 Home Defence squadron RAF then RAF. The winner of the popular vote in the 2012 Heritage Angel, the airfield is being preserved as a home for flyable WW1 era aircraft. Visits can be made by prior arrangement.

Historic Dockyard, Chatham

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The Historic Dockyard, Chatham is a stunning 80 acre site with historic buildings, museum galleries, historic warships and a vibrant programme of events and activities. It has a supurb collection of warships and displays 

Richborough Castle AD 43

Richborough is one of the most important Roman sites in Britain. One of the landing places of the Roman army in AD43, Rutupiae Portus, went on to become one of the main supply bases for the Roman troops. As conquest over the British became certain, the base was turned into a town with a triumphal, monumental arch celebrating the empire's military success. Today, you can see the remains of this arch, the large defensive ditches surrounding the fort and the remains of the old store rooms.

Upnor Castle and the Battle of the Medway (12-13 June 1667)

Upnor Castle is an Elizabethan artillery fort located in the village of Upnor, Medway, South East England. Its purpose was to defend ships moored "in ordinary" on the River Medway outside Chatham Dockyard.It was tested on 12 June 1667 whern the Dutch raided the fleet anchored off Chatham taking HMS Royal Charles and destroying omany others. 

Battle of Hastings 1066

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Probably the most famous battle in English history, the Battle of Hastings was fought on 14 October 1066 between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold II, during the Norman conquest of England. The main part of the battlefield is on the land of Battle Abbey managed by English Heritage. There are several key locations outside the Battle Abbey site which need intepretation by a guide

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Battle of the Medway AD 43

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The Battle of the Medway was probably the larghest battle to take place on British soil.  It took place in 43 AD on the River Medway in the lands of the Iron Age tribe of the Cantiaci, now the English county of Kent. It was an early battle in the Claudian invasion of Britain, led by Aulus Plautius.  Four Roman Legions and auxliaries took on a force of Britons.  The battlefield is subject to speculation but can be interpreted with a guide.

RAF Manston 1915-1945

The story of the former RAF station at Manston is told via two musuems.  The Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum at Manston Airfiekld is based around the gate guardian aircraft.  There is a seperate RAF Manston History Museum in Manston Road Ramsgate. The airfield was the tagrte for several attacks by the Luftwaffe durign the battle of Britian..

Dover Castle (Siege 1217)

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The medieval castle t was founded in the 12th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history. It is the largest castle in England.   It was besieged in 1216-1217 in the wars following the signing of Magna carta. The defence of the castel o n behlaf of King John was an epic, aider by the guerilla warfare wager by Wicken of the Weald, a prototype for Robin Hood.