Bletchley Park to open code-breaking hut in 2018

Bletchley Park will open one of its Second World War buildings to the public next Easter, telling the story of code-breaking in the hut that housed the machines which broke Enigma.

A new exhibition called Hut 11A: The Bombe Breakthrough will explain the challenge posed by Enigma and explore how Alan Turing and others devised a machine to help solve it.

Using the Buckinghamshire museum’s Oral History archive and historic objects, it will consider how this contribution to the success of Allied signals intelligence had a significant impact on the course of the Second World War.

Wartime objects on display will include original blueprints and components, decrypted Nazi messages and the W.R.N.S visitors’ book signed by key figures in the Bletchley Park story. Some of the documents in the exhibition have never been seen by the public before.

Iain Standen, chief executive of the Bletchley Park Trust, said: “For the first time our visitors will be able to learn how the ‘Bombes’ helped to break the Enigma cipher in one of the buildings that housed the incredible machines designed by Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman and others.

“We last opened newly renovated historic buildings in 2014, with Block C and Huts 3 and 6, and so this will be a significant development for the museum.”

Dermot Turing, nephew of Alan Turing and trustee of Bletchley Park, commented: “I am delighted that we now have the chance to explain the key roles played by others in breaking the Enigma cipher, and telling the whole fascinating story in a new and lively way.”

Tourism and heritage minister John Glen added: “The Bletchley Park codebreakers played a pivotal role in the outcome of the Second World War and the technology they pioneered shaped how we live today. Opening up Hut 11A to the public will inspire even more people to learn about how their incredible work changed the world.”

Bletchley Park will be exhibiting at Excursions in London (January 27), with a replica of the famous Enigma machine, used by the Germans during the Second World War to encrypt messages.