Bletchley Park and the Codebreakers of WWII

posted by Sharon January 9, 2017 22 Comments
Bletchley Park

Where did the Allied Codebreakers of WWII carry on their secretive, vital work? It was at an unassuming place outside London called Bletchley Park, a Victorian mansion and its grounds and outbuildings. The house, on its way to ruin, was grabbed up by the Allies in WWII, and some of the greatest secrets of the war were uncovered here by the brilliant Codebreakers recruited to work in the huts hastily built on the property. The whole operation remained top secret through the war, and those who worked here kept their wartime occupation a mystery for decades. About the time the huts got so dilapidated they were falling over, people rallied to save the complex. History, they felt, should reveal what went on here, the tedious and the amazing.

Bletchley Park

Today you can tour the mansion, the grounds, and some of the huts that have been restored. No one lived here during the war. The house was turned into offices and a library.

Bletchley ParkBletchley ParkBletchley ParkBletchley Park

Bletchley ParkThe fine museum gives you an idea of how the German messages were decoded using Enigma machines and elaborate precursors to computers called “bombes.” Two men headed up the development of the bombes: Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman. All of these bombes were destroyed after the war, but an organization raised funds and rebuilt one from existing plans. You may have seen this bombe in the movie about Bletchley Park, “The Imitation Game.” Demonstrations give an idea of the complexity and noise of these computers.

Bletchley ParkBletchley ParkBletchley Park

Bletchley ParkHut 11 was home to a bombe, and those who worked there called the hut a hellhole. The huts certainly were nothing other than functional. Bletchley ParkBletchley Park

Bletchley ParkThe steps before the final decoding were done by teams of different people. Enigma messages arrived in Hut 6, then went to Hut 3 for translation and analysis. Most people who worked at Bletchley knew only their small part of the operation, which helped maintain the secrecy. Everyone knew that if the Germans discovered that their Enigma machines were being decoded, they would quickly switch the way they conveyed messages. More than one million German Air Force and German Army messages were decoded at Bletchley. The secret of the Codebreakers held until well after the war ended. Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park

An informative tour is included with admission. Here’s our dapper and enthusiastic guide, Hugh.

Bletchley ParkBletchley Park

Want to know more about Bletchley Park? Besides “The Imitation Game,” the movie “Enigma” also shows life at Bletchley Park. Several books about Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman are available. And I recommend the excellent television show, “The Bletchley Circle.” If you are near London, consider spending a day at Bletchley Park. The world of the Codebreakers will fascinate you.

If you go:

Bletchley Park is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 16:00 p.m.

Adult admission is 17.25 Euros; children 12 – 17 are 10.25 Euros; children under 12 free

From London, take the train to Bletchley Park and walk about 2 blocks to the museum.

Bletchley Park

Linking up with Image-in-ing,http://littlebylittleblog.com/Little Things Thursday, Wednesday Around the WorldThe Good, the Random, the Fun, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World Tuesday, Photo Friday, Seasons at Life-n-Reflection, and Life Thru the Lens.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

You may also like

22 Comments

avatar
bettyl - NZ January 9, 2017 at 7:32 am

What a great post! I watched a miniseries about these fabulous people and was blow away.

Reply
avatar
Dina January 9, 2017 at 8:35 am

My history-loving boys would adore this! Fascinating.

Reply
avatar
Tamar Strauss-Benjamin January 9, 2017 at 10:05 am

So cool to see this! I loved the film about it all.

Reply
avatar
Pat January 9, 2017 at 4:42 pm

This is a fascinating part of the WW!! history and I’m glad it has been preserved for future generations to see and learn from.

Reply
avatar
Denise Allan January 9, 2017 at 5:15 pm

A fabulous fascinating post Sharon. I had no idea where the decoding took place so thank you for sharing. I love all of the history and your brilliant photographs. I’m off to show my husband… he’ll be really interested in this 😀

Reply
avatar
Gayle January 9, 2017 at 5:20 pm

Be still my heart. As a child it was a toss up whether I played ‘house’ or ‘office’. I also love history. Thank you for sharing these great facts and photos.

Reply
avatar
Lisa January 9, 2017 at 5:25 pm

Can I tell you just how much your travel posts from Europe have filled my heart right up. I feel like I have traveled there with you. Your photos are simply stunning, you captured it all so very well. The photo of your hubby standing in the door way, that is wall worthy for sure.

Lisa @ Life Thur the Lens http://www.lisakerner-slp.com

Reply
avatar
Natalie January 9, 2017 at 8:09 pm

What a fascinating place to visit! We saw the movie and it would be fantastic to see these machines in person!

Reply
avatar
jesh StG January 9, 2017 at 9:38 pm

Thank you much for letting us at ALL SEASONS in the details of the code breakers houses, and how they worked and functioned! Their work was so important. My impression is at at this present time there are similar “code breakers” doing a hidden, but such important work! They are the real heroes! Thank you again and have a great week, Sharon!

Reply
avatar
Kristy Life-n-reflection January 10, 2017 at 2:36 am

LOVE those wood floors, thank you for link up with #LNRseasons

Reply
avatar
Ruth January 10, 2017 at 3:55 am

Sharon, this is so interesting! The geek inside me digs everything about this post. I didn’t know anything about this place but would love to visit and see the movies about the story. The engineer inside me got very happy learning about this place (and it is very pretty by the way). #WordlessWednesday

Reply
avatar
Bryna | Dotted Line Travels January 10, 2017 at 4:52 am

I love visiting places like these that are so filled with history. I haven’t yet seen the Imitation Game (I’m behind the times…) but I’ve always wanted to see it. Your post makes me want to watch it even more!

Reply
avatar
sccollections January 10, 2017 at 9:57 am

Great post. Only the way Turing was treated after the war put a black spot on England’s society in those times.

Reply
avatar
Photo Cache January 10, 2017 at 7:23 pm

The houses are so beautiful. What a lovely day trip destination.

Worth a Thousand Words

Reply
avatar
Neha January 11, 2017 at 11:24 am

Beautiful photos…xx, Neha

http://www.theinstylejournal.com

Reply
avatar
Liz Needle January 12, 2017 at 2:33 am

A fascinating post and superb pictures. It is very evocative of “The Imitation Game’, a film I really enjoyed. Thanks for sharing.

Reply
avatar
Ida P. Krause January 12, 2017 at 9:48 pm

Gorgeous place and what a cool history it has. I enjoyed reading about this very much.

Reply
avatar
Sadie January 13, 2017 at 5:19 pm

What an amazing place! Such history!

Reply
avatar
Kat January 13, 2017 at 7:26 pm

Gosh, that must have been a really interesting place to visit. It’s interesting just to look at and read about.

Reply
avatar
Photo(Geo)grapher January 16, 2017 at 6:15 pm

What interesting and beautiful place to visit! Great post

Reply
avatar
Peabea January 19, 2017 at 9:28 pm

How fun to see the actual place. I enjoyed watching the series on Netflix about the codebreakers at Bletchley, and the movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch who played the person who figured this out was worth the watch also.

Reply
avatar
Sharon Anck March 14, 2017 at 3:19 pm

I just found this post on your site and enjoyed reading it and looking at all your photos. Bletchley Park was on my list of places to visit on my last trip to London last September but, time got away from me and I didn’t make it. It’s at the top of my list for my next visit. And now, your wonderful photos have tempted me even more.

Reply

Leave a Comment