In the steps of the Codebreakers

  |  Published: Apr 25th 2016
©Bletchley Park Trust
©Bletchley Park Trust

Original steps built during World War Two have been uncovered at Bletchley Park, after being hidden for more than 60 years. The steps lead to the entrance of Block B, where codes used by the German Navy and Air Force were broken.

The steps were revealed earlier this week during work to create improved access for visitors. Today Block B houses exhibitions and galleries relating to wartime Bletchley Park, including The Life and Works of Alan Turing, the largest public display of Enigma machines in the world and an exhibition about the breaking of the Lorenz cipher - Hitler’s Unbreakable Cipher Machine.

Bletchley Park’s Research Historian, Dr David Kenyon, says “The original steps leading into the lobby were obscured by later conversions of the entrance, first in the 1950s after the building was converted to a teacher training college, and again in the early 2000s when the previous disabled access was installed.”

He says the current works have provided a rare glimpse of the historic building’s original structure. “We can now see the steps used by such Block A and B luminaries as Frank Birch, Head of Naval Section, and Josh Cooper, Head of Air Section, both of whose departments occupied the building during the war.”

The steps will remain in situ and, after archaeological recording, will be protected and preserved prior to the construction of a new access path and steps.

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