Open to the public… for one day! Ghost town village evacuated in WWII that became secretive MoD training camp

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These eerie images give an insight into a real world ghost town which has been deserted for almost 70 years.

Residents of Imber, Wilts., were evacuated in December 1943 during World War II and never allowed to return.

The abandoned village, on Salisbury Plain, is now used as a training site for the Ministry of Defence.

The 13th century St Giles' Church in the deserted village of Imber on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire
The 13th century St Giles’ Church in the deserted village of Imber on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire

But it was opened to the public over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend with dozens of intrigued locals visiting the uninhabited village.

The village’s pub, manor house and cottages have become derelict shells over the past 70 years.

One of the homes in Imber that were deserted in 1943
The buildings have remained empty for almost 70 years
The buildings have remained empty for almost 70 years

And while Imber has no electricity or running water, the village’s Grade I Listed 13th century church is in full-working order.

St Giles Church, which comes under the Diocese of Salisbury, underwent a £300,000 restoration in 2008 as part of a national project by the Churches Conservation Trust.

Villagers were given just 47 days’ notice in 1943 to leave Imber, which was used as an exercise area for US troops preparing for the D-Day landings.

One of the new buildings on Salisbury Plain that are now used for military training
One of the new buildings on Salisbury Plain that are now used for military training
The training camp was opened to the public for the Easter weekend
The training camp was opened to the public for the Easter weekend

The last recorded Census figures for the village showed there were 152 people living in Imber in 1931.

Despite various legal challenges, locals have not been allowed to return to Imber.

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