The Churchill War Rooms

30 January 2012

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The Map Room at IWM Churchill Museum, Cabinet War Rooms. Shot for Film Location, 7th October 2009. Copyright © Imperial War Museum.The Map Room at IWM Churchill Museum, Cabinet War Rooms. Shot for Film Location, 7th October 2009. Copyright © Imperial War Museum.

The Churchill War Rooms are famously known as the underground headquarters from which Winston Churchill directed the war effort. Following the surrender of the Japanese Forces the doors to the Cabinet War Rooms were locked on 16 August 1945 and the complex was left undisturbed until Parliament ensured its preservation as a historic site in 1948. Knowledge of the site and access to it remained highly restricted until the late 1970s when the Imperial War Museum began the task of preserving the site and its contents, making them accessible to as wide an audience as possible. Since the War Rooms first opened to the public in 1984, visitors from all over the world flock every year to discover our secret underground site, which played such a crucial role in the Second World War.

In addition to the historical rooms, in 2005 we added the only major museum in the world dedicated to Sir Winston Churchill. Its multimedia and uniquely engaging approach provides visitors with a comprehensive overview of Churchill’s life.

General View of the Churchill Museum at IWM Churchill Museum Cabinet War Rooms. Copyright © Imperial War Museum.

As well as visiting the Museum and historical rooms, we run a rolling programme of free informal learning activities, giving visitors a chance to examine items from the IWM collections, which really do bring the era to life! We also host ‘After Hours’ events, where visitors get the opportunity to visit the site in the evening, meet the museum curators, watch archive film footage and try their hand and swing dance! We also run private tours of the site, which can be booked in advance. To find out more information about the Churchill War Rooms, including details of events and how to book private tours, please visit our website:


Post by Nina Smetek, Press Officer, IWM London, Churchill War Rooms, HMS Belfast.

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