It occupies a former Second World War 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.
1950 to 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.
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 pheasants on grain.
1985: Stan Johnson bought the site intending to set up a potato crisp factory. But three Italian ex-Eden Camp prisoners of war approached him seeking permission to look around the camp, and thus the idea of preserving the camp and opening it as a museum was born. By then the site had become severely overgrown with wild vegetation, which had to be cleared.
21 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 used for display.
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.
1992:Eden Camp won the Yorkshire Tourist Board's 'Visitor Attraction of the Year' and came second in the England for Excellence English Tourist Board's Awards for Tourism.
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.
1996: It won the award again.
1998: Eden Camp won the Yorkshire Tourist Board's 'Visitor Attraction of the Year' award.
1999: Hut 13 opened to cover military conflicts which British Commonwealth forces have been involved in since the end of the Second World War up to the present day.