Part of the Imperial War Museum, Churchill War Rooms is an impressive museum to visit. Any history afficionado would love wandering about the halls of the Cabinet War Rooms, which were the government’s secret, underground headquarters during the Second World War. In 2005, the only major museum in the world dedicated to the impressive politician Winston Churchill was opened on the premises of the Cabinet War Rooms. The Churchill War Rooms offer a comprehensive view of the former Prime Minister’s life.
Due to the Second World War, the imminent danger and fear that London would be bombarded had troubled the government deeply. In 1938, the basement of a Whitehall building – more specifically the Treasury building- was chosen as the site for the Cabinet War Rooms. Between 1940 and 1945, this site became the core of the British government.
The Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force would constantly use one of the two rooms that were of particular importance inside the War Rooms, namely the Map Room. They would produce daily intelligence that was delivered to the King, the Prime Minister and military Chiefs.
Another important room was the Cabinet Room in which Winston Churchill spent serious amounts of time after being appointed Prime Minister. In May 1940, when he first entered the room, he declared “ This is the room from which I will direct the war”.
After the war ended in 1945, the site was abandoned and preserved until the Parliament ensured its status as a historic site in 1948. Knowledge of the site and access to it were highly restricted until the 70s when the Imperial War Museum began its task of preserving the Rooms and their contents. In 1984, the Churchill War Rooms museum was open for all to see and visit.
If you’re in London, be sure to visit the Churchill War Rooms. It is an impressive place, filled with history and the echoes of the War. Have you been there? Are you planning to?