Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, on the southern coast of England, is located in a military base, the home of The Armour Centre. A huge museum with the largest collection of tanks in the world from many different countries, several of the exhibits are the only ones remaining in existence. Far more interesting than it sounds, it is a great place to visit.

The outside of the Tank museum

Bovington Camp was created in 1899 when a local landowner was paid for 1000 acres of land for use by the Army as a firing range. During World War I, the Heavy Branch of the Machine Gun Corps moved their headquarters there, and remained there undergoing several name changes over the years from Tank Corps to The Armour Centre which it is known as now. It is still very much a military camp, and driving there you see areas fenced off with barbed wire and typical military shops and quarters.

The author Rudyard Kipling visited the military base at Bovington in 1923, and suggested something should be done to preserve the tanks from the Great War which were being stored there, slowly disintegrating. A shed was found, and over time other vehicles were added to the collection as they came out of service or finished being used in trials.

Enemy tanks were captured by the British Army, and once they had been stripped down for evaluation and testing, would then go to the museum to be reassembled and put on display. Tank-related ephemera was added, along with documents and photographs, and a library was begun. The museum now has about 300 tanks and is the biggest collection in the world.