What could be a more fitting way to pay tribute to the 70th anniversary of D-Day than with a visit to the Lupton House 1940s Weekend? Lupton House was used as the HQ for training the US Army for Operation Overlord and housed 2,500 troops. If you missed out the first time, you might want to join in this fun event at Lupton House near Brixham which will be held on the third weekend in September.
You could be excused for thinking you had travelled back in time as Spitfires, military World War II vehicles and classic cars set the scene for a historic weekend of nostalgia, remembering the best of life in the 1940s.
Lupton House is a white-washed Grade II listed Palladian mansion surrounded by parkland and gardens. Now operated by the Lupton Trust, it is a venue for weddings and special events. This elegant country house opens its gates several times a year to the public for events such as the Lupton House 1940s Weekend and is well worth a visit.
What's happening at the Lupton House 1940s Weekend
This lively 1940s themed event includes many stalls selling vintage clothing, antiques and memorabilia and the atmosphere is amazing. After admiring the fine collection of World War II era vehicles there are interesting lectures, weapons displays and exhibits revealing how different life was for those who lived in Devon during that era. See the informative Air Raid Display and demonstrations as part of this living history day.
The Spitfire and crew are naturally a big talking point but there is plenty more to see and do. The slide show is particularly historic and interesting for WW2 aircraft buffs. Inside the house there is a Craft and Vintage Fair with a crafts room for children, models and exhibits from the wartime period and 1940s style refreshments in the Faerie Tea Room.
Parking is free opposite the main gate to the house and there is a free park and ride service for those who do not care to saunter up the driveway under their own steam. Entry to the daytime event is £6 for adults with concessions for children and OAPs.
There is a procession of vintage and military vehicles to watch, some living history displays and a 40s Fashion show which is sure to raise some smiles.
Jive the night away at the Victory Dance!
The big event on Saturday night is the 1940s Victory Dance with a licensed bar and hot food. Held in the ballroom of Lupton House, entertainment is led by the local swing band Just Misbehavin'. Admission to the dance is by ticket, available online for £13, which was more than a week's wages in 1940!
The event has plenty of live music, appropriate to the 1940s theme, of course, so you may want to polish up your jive moves! Profits from the event will go towards supporting the upkeep of Lupton House and the Brixham Battery Heritage Group.
History of Lupton House
The Lupton Estate was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book although the Georgian style country house is much newer. The estate has been owned by the Upton family since 1480 and the house has been an intrinsic part of the local heritage.
During the Second World War, Lupton House and the grounds were requisitioned and used to house American forces. It played an important role in the preparations for the historic D-Day landings in 1944.
It was never lived in by the family again, becoming first a hotel and then the private Fenton School. This was superseded by the Lupton House School and in 1990 it became the Gramercy Hall School which closed in 2004.
The house was then left empty until the Lupton Trust stepped in to rescue and restore it to its former glory. The house still retains many period architectural features making it a lovely place to visit or hire for a social function.
Have you ever attended a 1940s Weekend? Would you like to share what you wore and what was the most fun part of it? We'd also love to hear comments from anyone who has visited Lupton House and can give us the inside scoop on this historic house.