House & Family History: Bletchley Park was originally a manor that William the Conqueror awarded to one of his followers after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The Estate passed through many hands before coming into the ownership of Sir Herbert Samuel Leon in 1883. Leon was a London financier and MP who extended the house in 1883 and again circa 1906. The interiors are primarily in the Jacobethan style. In 1938, as war clouds formed, the government requisitioned Bletchley Park for what would become its most famous purpose: the breaking of the German secret code during World War II. Working under the code name Ultra, the cryptologists at Bletchley intercepted and decoded confidential German radio signals, including the supposedly unbreakable Enigma code. Bletchley was chosen primarily for its location: near London and between Cambridge and Oxford, which provided a ready source of young code-breakers. Troops, anti-aircraft installments, and a ring of five Royal Air Force bases surrounded the grounds. During the war over 10,000 men and women served at Bletchley Park; they were sworn to silence by an oath of secrecy that was maintained for 30 years after World War II ended. After war service Bletchley became the Post Office National Training Centre. It is today owned by the non-profit Bletchley Park Trust and is open to the public as a museum and visitor attraction.
Garden & Outbuildings: Bletchley Park sits in an estate of 581 acres. During a war-time visit, Churchill ordered the Leons's Victorian maze destroyed to make room for two tennis courts for the recreation of the staff at Bletchley. The Stables of 1883 and one Lodge of 1896 are extant.
Title: Buildings of England: Buckinghamshire, The
Author: Pevsner, Nikolaus; Williamson, Elizabeth
Year Published: 1994
Reference: pg. 508
Publisher: London: Penguin Books
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade II
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat of: Sir Herbert Samuel Leon, 1883-1926.
Current Ownership Type: Charity / Nonprofit
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
Ownership Details: Owned by Bletchely Park Trust