It occupies a former World War II prisoner of war camp of 33 huts. After the prisoners left, the camp was used for storage and then abandoned. Its grounds then became overgrown. As the museum was being set up, much clearing, as well as repair and renovation of the buildings, was required. Some authors have written of the ways in which the museum uses interactive technologies and forms of theming to educate members of the public.
The museum also has a reproduction (not working) V1.
In Early 1944, the camp provided accommodation for Polish forces amassed in the North Yorkshire area in preparation for an invasion of Europe. By mid-1944 the first German prisoners of war arrived at Eden Camp. The last German prisoner of war left the camp in early 1949.
From 1950 until 1955, Eden Camp was used as an agricultural holiday camp where guests paid for board and lodgings to work on local farms. School children stayed at Eden Camp during school holidays to learn more about the countryside and agriculture. In 1952 it was used as a Ministry of Agriculture depot.
In 1955 the site was returned to Fitzwilliam Estates who leased it to Headley Wise and Sons who owned Malton Minerals. The huts were used for drying and storing grain and rearing pleasants on grain.
During the 1970s the huts were subleased to various individuals who used them as car workshops and spray paint shops.
The site was purchased by Stan Johnson in 1985 with the intention of a crisp manufacturing factory. However, after being approached by three Italian ex-Eden Camp prisoners of war who were seeking permission to have a look around the camp, the idea of preserving the camp and opening it as a museum was born. On 21st March 1987 Eden Camp Museum opened to the public. It is billed as the world's first Modern History Theme Museum and ten huts were utilised for display.
In 1990 Hut 24, the first of a series of five huts designated to display the military and political events worldwide between 1939 and 1945 opened.
In 1992 Eden Camp won its first major tourist award, the Yorkshire Tourist Board's 'Visitor Attraction of the Year' and is subsequently entered in, and came second in 'the England for Excellence English Tourist Board's Awards for Tourism.
In 1995 the last remaining empty hut opened and was dedicated to coincide with the 50th Anniversary VE Day celebrations. The museum also won its second Yorkshire Tourist Board 'Tourism for All' award. It won the award again in 1996.
In 1998 Eden Camp won the Yorkshire Tourist Board's 'Vistor Attraction of the Year' award.
In 1999 Hut 13 opened to cover military conflicts which British Commonwealth forces have been involved in since the end of World War 2 up to the present dau.
In 2000 Hut 11 opened to include the events of World War 1.
In 2001 Eden Camp was voted runner up attraction to the London Eye by the readers of Group Travel Organiser magazine.
On 8th November 2002 the museum was visited by Prince Phillip.