Discover 25 of our favorite Bletchley Park facts

To celebrate 25 years since Bletchley Park was saved from being demolished we've put together 25 of our favorite facts - 

Codebreaker Hugh Foss used to run Scottish country-dancing classes for staff at Bletchley Park

In December 1944 a chess match was played between 'Bletchley' and Oxford University. Bletchley won 8-4!

Actress Celia Johnson plays an ATS officer in a short film on show in our Block C Visitors Centre

GC&CS ran a car-share - codebreakers with private cars who needed petrol coupons gave lifts to staff

To maintain secrecy visiting VIPs were driven to a nearby town by their drivers then picked up by GC&CS

Staff too unwell to work who didn’t require hospital stayed in a recuperation home in Fenny Stratford

A Codebreaker’s starting salary in September 1939 was £600 pa, which is equivalent to £23,000 today

The acronym for Dilly Knox and his team of codebreakers was ISK - Illicit Signals Knox

During World War Two, Block F became the world's first purpose-built computer centre

Women outnumbered men at Bletchley Park by around three to one

Lord of the Rings author J R R Tolkien turned down a job with GC&CS at Bletchley Park in 1939

Bletchley Park had its own staff hair salon in the back of Hut 3, but you had to bring your own towel

Bletchley Park had its own pigsty, located opposite the transport depot office

Wren and Bombe operator Phyllis Dalton went on to become a theatrical dress designer and won two Oscars

Actress Olivia Newton John’s father Brinley worked here. An RAF wing commander, he spoke fluent German

63,000,000 characters of Lorenz traffic intercept were broken - equivalent to 20 copies of War & Peace

Alan Turing and Dilly Knox were briefly in the Bletchley Park Home Guard. Knox was a very good shot

Several bombe machines were named after cartoon characters, including Bambi and Pluto

When GC&CS staff first arrived in 1938 they had a chef from the Savoy to cook their meals

A standard 3-rotor Enigma was capable of being set to approx 159,000,000,000,000,000,000 combinations

It took approx 12mins for a Bombe to work through all 17,576 positions on the ‘menu’ being tested

Bill Tutte discovered how the Lorenz machine worked without ever having seen one

The Premium Bond machine ERNIE was invented in 1956 by a former Bletchley Park codebreaker

In September 1939, 137 CG&CS personnel came to Bletchley Park. In January 1945 there were 8994

The Duchess of Cambridge opened our Visitors’ Centre in June ‘14. Book your trip today