Bletchley Park’s renovations in photos: what’s next for the historical coding site

Bletchley Park was the home to Britain’s WW2 code-breaking efforts – and the historical computing site has had a massive renovation.

Now – before the official reopening in June – we’ve been given a sneak peek at what the work’s created: a glance back at what Bletchley Park would have looked like in its heyday.

Six years ago, the “huts” once worked in by the likes of Alan Turing were in such a state of disrepair that the Bletchley Park Trust was seriously concerned the site would have to close to visitors.

Tired decor

Funding has since flowed in, and the past year has seen Bletchley Park look more like a construction site than living museum.

Bletchley Park renos

Last year, before the renovations were in full swing, we toured the broken down huts, with protective helmets on in case the ceiling caved in and watched our step for holes in the flooring.


Hallway before

To fix the rooms and hallways, the renovators found floor boards from the right era to replace broken ones, created radiators to match the remaining original ones, and sourced ceiling tiles from the same company the government did when kitting out the buildings the first time.

Refurbished floor boards

New Bletchley Park -- hallway

We returned part way through the work, to see the expert renovation crew artfully adding “fingerprints” around light switches and “smoke stains” on the ceiling to give the freshly painted walls and ceilings an authentic look.

light switch

New Bletchley Park -- inside

Researchers even investigated what shade of green to paint the huts – the black and white photos from the era not being particularly helpful – and whether it should be matte or shiny.

Hut before

Hut 1

There’s other changes too. “Post-war intrusions, such as unsightly car parks, have been removed and the centre of the site has been returned to rural beauty,” communications manager Katherine Lynch tells us. “Visitors can now enjoy the view of the parkland that Commander Denniston, the first Head of the Government Code and Cypher School, ordered to be retained in order to provide essential rest and recuperation space for the Codebreakers.”

New Bletchley Park -- green space

There’s also a new visitors’ centre – previously, anyone arriving at the site could be forgiven for not being able to immediately figure out where to go.

The new centre is in Block C, which was previously in such a state of disrepair it had a tree growing in one room. That foilage has been sacrificed for a new shop, cafe, and introductory exhibition.

Reno work - visitor centre

New Bletchley Park -- updated visitor centre

The official reopening of Bletchley Park is 18 June.

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