Home where codebreakers intercepted Nazi messages on sale for £3.25M

Property where Bletchley Park codebreakers stayed as they intercepted Nazi codes with Alan Turing’s Enigma machine goes on the market for £3.25million (and comes complete with its own WW2 bomb shelter)

  • The nine-bedroom manor where the Bletchley Park codebreakers intercepted Nazi messages is now on sale
  • The historic 18th century resience, extending over 9,000 square feet, is listed at £3.25 million
  • It lodged the female staff of the Bletchley Listening Center, home of the Enigma decoder, during WWII 
  • 8,000 women were employed at the center and  operated the computers used for breaking Nazi codes
  • To this day an underground bomb shelter remains on the property, near the rear of the garden 

The nine-bedroom Bedfordshire home where the Bletchley Park codebreakers intercepted Nazi messages, playing an integral role in ending World War II, has gone on the market for £3.25 million.

The Grange, built in the 18th century residence and remodelled in 1906, was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force during WWII. It lodged the female staff of the Bletchley Listening Center, home of the Enigma decoder.

The Enigma decoder was a cipher machine used by mathmatician Alan Turning to crack the Lorenz cipher, used by the Nazis in WWII to hide their messages from the British.

8,000 women were employed at the Bletchley Listening Center, nicknamed the Wrens, and operated the computers used for breaking the codes. Their work was integral to the war effort.

To this day an underground bomb shelter remains on the property, near the rear of the garden.

The nine-bedroom Bedfordshire home where the Bletchley Park codebreakers intercepted Nazi messages, playing an integral role in ending World War II, has gone on the market for £3.25 million

The stunning Georgian country house extends over 9,000 square feet and sits on mature grounds, enjoying a private position within the village of Woburn

The Grange holds seven bathrooms, five reception rooms, a music room and many bespoke ornate pieces around the property

Women work in registration room at the sprawling Buckinghamshire site. 8,000 women were employed at the Bletchley Listening Center, nicknamed the Wrens, and operated the computers used for breaking the codes. Their work was integral to the war effort

A team of staff helped to decipher top-secret military communiques between Hitler and his armed forces. The intelligence gathered at Bletchley Park is believed to have shortened the war by two years

How Bletchley Park cut WWII short by two years

 The importance of the code-breaking operations at Bletchley Park cannot be underestimated.

They produced vital intelligence that played a huge part in swinging the war in the Allies’ favour.

As Winston Churchill said at the time, the Bletchley staff were ‘the geese that laid the golden eggs and never cackled’.

Intelligence from Bletchley played a vital part in the defeat of the U-boats in the six-year Battle of the Atlantic, British naval triumphs in the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941 and the Battle of North Cape off the coast of Norway in 1943.

By 1944 British and American commanders knew the location of 58 out of 60 German divisions across the Western Front.

In addition, a great deal of information was decrypted about General Erwin Rommel’s Nazi forces in North Africa.

The German commander enjoyed a great deal of success against the British but with the help of intelligence from the codebreakers General Bernard Montgomery’s British forces were able to drive him back in 1942.

The success of Bletchley’s cryptanalysts was partly due, however, to German operators failing to encrypt messages properly.

Had they not been so sloppy, the outcome of the war could have been very different.

 

The stunning Georgian country house extends over 9,000 square feet and sits on mature grounds, enjoying a private position within the village of Woburn.

The Grange holds seven bathrooms, five reception rooms, a music room and many bespoke ornate pieces around the property. 

The ground floor features a pair of double doors that open on to a panelled vestibule with raised marble seating area with fireplace. 

Beyond the reception hall one has views of the rear garden and a wide staircase that rises to the galleried landing.

Perfect for entertaining, the ground floor boasts a music room donned in peacock wall paper. It holds an ornate mahogany fireplace and a picture window overlooking the rear grounds.

Across the hall lies the dining room with ornate ceiling and hand painted wallpaper from China. 

The dining hall has a decorative fireplace and a door linking through to the garden room, which is currently being used as a breakfast room. 

The garden room connects to a stunning kitchen that houses a breakfast bar and separate drinks fridge.

The ground floor also houses a study, utility room and a Scottish themed cloakroom along with two walk-in store rooms and access to the coach house garage.

Five spacious bedrooms, including the master suite, lie on the home’s first floor. Three overlook the rear grounds and one sleeping chambers has its own en suite.

The master bedroom offers views of the rear grounds. It has an en suite shower room and a dressing room with a run of fitted wardrobes and fitted dressing table.

The second floor, originally designed to hold four additional double bedrooms, currently houses a bedroom, study, gym with galley kitchen, shower room and a games room with a bar.

The realtor boasts the second floor, which is accessed via the home’s main staircase, offers prospective buyers ‘great flexibility.’

‘The Grange is presented in excellent condition and is a property that lends itself to modern family living,’ the listing reads.

The front of the house is marked by a four tiered stone water fountain, as well as a wildlife garden, wooden bridge across the pond and a beautiful terrace

Perfect for entertaining, the ground floor boasts a music room donned in peacock wall paper. It holds an ornate mahogany fireplace and a picture window overlooking the rear grounds. A sitting room with a library is pictured

Perfect for entertaining, the ground floor boasts a music room donned in peacock wall paper. It holds an ornate mahogany fireplace and a picture window overlooking the rear grounds 

The ground floor features a pair of double doors that open on to a panelled vestibule with raised marble seating area with fireplace. Beyond the reception hall one has views of the rear garden and a wide staircase that rises to the galleried landing

Across the hall lies the dining room with ornate ceiling and hand painted wallpaper from China. The dining hall has a decorative fireplace and a door linking through to the garden room, which is currently being used as a breakfast room

The home features multiple sitting rooms, including the one above that features a fireplace and at least two chandeliers 

To this day an underground bomb shelter remains on the property, near the rear of the garden. The house also has a wine cellar, as shown above 

The garden room connects to a stunning kitchen that houses a breakfast bar and separate drinks fridge

‘The east wing or second floor are easily adaptable to create multi-generational living facilities if required.’

The house is approached over a tree lined avenue with gravelled drive culminating in a wide turning circle in front of the house, the listing states. 

The front of the house is marked by a four tiered stone water fountain, as well as a wildlife garden, wooden bridge across the pond and a beautiful terrace.

‘The manicured lawn is framed by gravelled paths and ironstone walls and on the eastern side, steps lead down to the Second World War bomb shelter,’ reads the listing.

‘The lower lawn is an ideal croquet lawn but combined with the upper lawn could quite easily house a tennis court or swimming pool.

‘The terrace runs round to the walled outdoor dining area with fitted outdoor kitchen and granite serving areas.’

Additionally, a yew hedge divides the formal grounds from the informal split level garden, which is features an oval summerhouse with a drinks fridge.  

‘The lower lawn is an ideal croquet lawn but combined with the upper lawn could quite easily house a tennis court or swimming pool,’ the realtor added.

The house is approached over a tree lined avenue with gravelled drive culminating in a wide turning circle in front of the house, the listing states

The terrace runs round to the walled outdoor dining area with fitted outdoor kitchen and granite serving areas 

A yew hedge divides the formal grounds from the informal split level garden, which is features an oval summerhouse with a drinks fridge. The summerhouse is shown above 

The estate sits on beautiful grounds that features a river with a walking bridge, as seen above 

The lower lawn is an ideal croquet lawn but combined with the upper lawn could quite easily house a tennis court or swimming pool. The rear of the home, the terrace and patio are shown above

‘The manicured lawn is framed by gravelled paths and ironstone walls and on the eastern side, steps lead down to the Second World War bomb shelter,’ reads the listing 

During the war Bletchley Park estate housed the government’s secret Code and Cypher School, which obtained signals intelligence by breaking high-level encrypted enemy communications. 

It was also home to the Colossus machine, the first programmable electronic computer. 

Some 10,000 staff – three-quarters of them women, including aristocrats and secretaries – worked at the stately mansion at the height of the war, while thousands more were posted overseas.

Bletchley was chosen as the main intelligence site as cities were more likely to be bombed. 

The scores of staff helped crack Nazi codes. Lengthy messages of at least 4,000 characters that were intercepted by Bletchley staff were usually signed by senior well-known figures, including Adolf Hitler.

Experts say the intelligence gathered at Bletchley Park is believed to have shortened WWII by two years.

What is an Enigma machine and how did British mathematician Alan Turing and his team break the code?

The Enigma was a type of enciphering machine used by the German armed forces to send messages securely during the Second World War.

The Enigma was a type of enciphering machine used by the German armed forces in the Second World War

It used a complex series of rotors and lights to encrypt messages by swapping letters around via an ever-changing ‘Enigma code’.

Polish mathematicians worked out how to read Enigma messages prior to 1939, and shared this information with the British.

But German cryptographers upgraded the security of the machines at the outbreak of the war by changing the cipher system daily.

A team of researchers, including famed British mathematician Alan Turing, eventually broke the enigma code in 1941.

They invented devices known as Bombe machines that could decipher the enigma code, allowing Allied forces to intercept German messages.

It is believed that the work of Turing and his team shortened the war’s duration by up to two years.

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