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The Tank Museum - Public Areas, Bovington, Dorset, South West England, Britain

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Location Category ID: 3000
Added to Database: May 2008
Last Edited: 29 March 2012
Address: The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset, BH20 6JG
Telephone: 01929 405096
Email: info [at] tankmuseum.org (Replace [at] with @)
Opening Times: 1000-1700 Daily. Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Official Website: The Tank Museum
Other Links: Museo de Blindados de Bovington
Latitude, Longitude: 50.69501687 , -2.24241793
Location Accuracy: 7
Tanks Previously Here: Long term:
1: Sturmgeschütz III Assault Gun - Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, East England, Britain (Until 2005 – on loan)
2: Panzerkampfwagen IV Tank - Panzermuseum, Munster, Soltau-Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony, Germany (Until 1960)
3: Leopard 1A1 Tank - The Tank Museum - Reserve Collection, Bovington, Dorset, South West England, Britain (Tamiya Hall)
4: M3A1 Stuart Light Tank - The Tank Museum - Reserve Collection, Bovington, Dorset, South West England, Britain (Until ca November 2011)
5: M47 Patton Tank - Royal Armoured Corps Gunnery School, Lulworth Camp, Dorset, South West England, Britain (ca1973-1987)
6: T-55 Tank - The Tank Museum - Reserve Collection, Bovington, Dorset, South West England, Britain (Displayed in Tamiya Hall)
7: FV4202 40-ton Centurion Tank - The Tank Museum - Reserve Collection, Bovington, Dorset, South West England, Britain (Previously on display outside)
8: FV4201 Chieftain Tank - The Tank Museum - Reserve Collection, Bovington, Dorset, South West England, Britain (On display in museum – dates unknown)
9: Mark IV Heavy Tank - Museum of Lincolnshire Life, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, East Midlands, Britain (Dates unknown)
10: Mark V* Heavy Tank - National Armor and Cavalry Museum, Fort Benning, Muscogee County, Georgia, USA (Unconfirmed)
11: A22 Churchill Tank - Isle of Wight Military History Museum, Cowes, Isle of Wight, South East England, Britain (Until ca2005)
12: A22 Churchill Crocodile Flame-Throwing Tank - Defence College of Management and Technology, Shrivenham, Oxfordshire, South East England, Britain (ca1980-2002)
13: Churchill Bridgelayer - Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham, Kent, South East England, Britain (ca1965-ca2009)
14: A33 Excelsior Heavy Tank - The Tank Museum - Reserve Collection, Bovington, Dorset, South West England, Britain (On display outside – dates unknown)

Short term:
1: FV4003 Centurion AVRE 165 Engineer Vehicle - Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham, Kent, South East England, Britain (On loan 1993-2002)


The Tank Museum is located in Bovington Camp, the main base of the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC), which is about two miles north-west of Wool in Dorset. It is the museum of the Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) and RAC and began when some twenty-six tanks (of which eight now survive) were collected together on the heath near the Camp after the First World War. These were experimental models and survivors of the War which had been saved from the scrap-heap after demobilisation. In 1923 the late Rudyard Kipling during a visit expressed disappointment to the Colonel Commandant, General Sir Hugh Elles, that so little was being done for these tanks. In 1924 a selection of them was given a place in the Driving and Maintenance Wing of the Royal Tank Corps Central Schools. This ‘museum’ was for Army instruction and was not open to the public. An equipment store was taken over in 1925 to house souvenirs and relics, and the museum itself was enlarged considerably in 1928. In this year His Majesty King George V visited the camp and its vehicle collection.
Nine vehicles arrived in 1932 from the Mechanical Warfare Experimental Establishment at Farnborough, of which only one now survives. Various experimental machines of the inter-war years were later added. The formation of the Royal Armoured Corps in 1939 from the Cavalry, Royal Tank Regiments and certain Yeomanry and Territorial units led to the scope of the existing Royal Tank Corps Museum being enlarged to cover all the regiments of the RAC. The museum was closed soon after for the duration of the Second World War. A number of the exhibits were saved from being scrapped by being used for local defence.
In 1945 the rather unsuitable buildings of the Driving and Maintenance School were again used to house about fifty vehicles. Between 1947, when the museum was first opened to the public, and 1952 a large hanger was taken over. In 1951 a collection of Second World War Allied and foreign vehicles was included when the School of Tank Technology and its vehicles moved from Chertsey to Bovington. The Alan Jolly Hall was added in 1970, and a new entry block was opened in 1983 by His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent. In 1986 a whole new hall was opened by David Trippier MP, Minister for Tourism. It contains all the First World War tanks in the museum's collection and aims to demonstrate the early evolution and development of the tank.
The RAC Museum incorporates the Royal Tank Regiment Museum, and displays a large number of tank guns and engines, and some turrets and models, as well as its very large collection of vehicles. The museum also has an extensive collection of documents, photographs and books concerned with armoured vehicles. These are housed in a library which, though not open to the general public, may be visited by appointment.

Location Images - Photographs and NavPix (click to expand or browse)

March 2011

BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle
1: BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle

Taken: 7 March 2011
Contributor: M. Foti
Location Photo ID: 678
Added: 26 March 2012
Views: 84
Has Priority: 0
    

 

Goliath demolition vehicle
2: Goliath demolition vehicle

Taken: 6 March 2011
Contributor: M. Foti
Location Photo ID: 679
Added: 26 March 2012
Views: 270
Has Priority: 0
    

 

Springer demolition vehicle
3: Springer demolition vehicle

Taken: 6 March 2011
Contributor: M. Foti
Location Photo ID: 680
Added: 26 March 2012
Views: 56
Has Priority: 0
    



Panther II Schmalturm turret
4: Panther II Schmalturm turret

Taken: 6 March 2011
Contributor: M. Foti
Location Photo ID: 681
Added: 26 March 2012
Views: 1023
Has Priority: 0
    



Sturmtiger main armament, an anti-submarine mortart
5: Sturmtiger main armament, an anti-submarine mortart

Taken: 6 March 2011
Contributor: M. Foti
Location Photo ID: 682
Added: 26 March 2012
Views: 60
Has Priority: 0
    

    



October 2008

Main entrance and arena control tower
6: Main entrance and arena control tower

Taken: 27 October 2008
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 656
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 88
Has Priority: 20
    



 

Main entrance
7: Main entrance

Taken: 27 October 2008
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 657
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 51
Has Priority: 0
    



 

Tank Story hall
8: Tank Story hall

Taken: 27 October 2008
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 658
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 61
Has Priority: 0
    



Tank Story hall
9: Tank Story hall

Taken: 27 October 2008
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 659
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 58
Has Priority: 0
    



Inter-War hall
10: Inter-War hall

Taken: 27 October 2008
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 660
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 49
Has Priority: 0
    



British tanks in World War 2 hall
11: British tanks in World War 2 hall

Taken: 27 October 2008
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 661
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 49
Has Priority: 0
    



Tamiya hall
12: Tamiya hall

Taken: 27 October 2008
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 662
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 48
Has Priority: 0
    



British Steel hall
13: British Steel hall

Taken: 27 October 2008
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 663
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 70
Has Priority: 0
    



British Steel hall
14: British Steel hall

Taken: 27 October 2008
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 664
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 54
Has Priority: 0
    



Tank Museum map
15: Tank Museum map

Taken: 27 October 2008
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 665
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 804
Has Priority: 0
    

    

    



October 1982

Mark VIII on display in front of museum
16: Mark VIII on display in front of museum

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 643
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 58
Has Priority: 0
    



 

Front of museum
17: Front of museum

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 644
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 52
Has Priority: 0
    



 

Museum entrance
18: Museum entrance

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 645
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 51
Has Priority: 0
    



British tanks in car park
19: British tanks in car park

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 646
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 54
Has Priority: 0
    



American tanks in car park
20: American tanks in car park

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 647
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 57
Has Priority: 0
    



American vehicles in car park
21: American vehicles in car park

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 648
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 62
Has Priority: 0
    



Turrets displayed outside
22: Turrets displayed outside

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 649
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 44
Has Priority: 0
    



Ruston Hornsby tractor
23: Ruston Hornsby tractor

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 650
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 68
Has Priority: 0
    



Universal carrier
24: Universal carrier

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 651
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 41
Has Priority: 0
    



Renault UE carrier
25: Renault UE carrier

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 652
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 42
Has Priority: 0
    



Amphibious vehicles - M29 Weasel and LVT4
26: Amphibious vehicles - M29 Weasel and LVT4

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 653
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 58
Has Priority: 0
    



Kleines Kettenkraftrad
27: Kleines Kettenkraftrad

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 654
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 51
Has Priority: 0
    



Springer demolition vehicle
28: Springer demolition vehicle

Taken: 26 October 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 655
Added: 12 February 2012
Views: 65
Has Priority: 0