Whaddon Hall

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Whaddon Hall

Whaddon Hall is a country house in Whaddon, Buckinghamshire. It is a Grade II listed building.[1]

History[edit]

Old Whaddon Hall

Whaddon Hall was built in 1820 to replace the original manor house which was demolished in the late 18th-century.[2] It was once home to the Selby family (also known as Selby-Lowndes), whose ancestor William Lowndes built the larger and grander Winslow Hall.[3]

During the Second World War Whaddon Hall served as headquarters of Section VIII (Communications) of MI6, under the command of Brigadier Richard Gambier-Parry. The "Station X" wireless interception function was transferred here from Bletchley Park in February 1940.[4] That facility served in a number of capacities, the most critical the sending of Ultra intelligence from Bletchley Park to officers in the field. The term Ultra was used to convey the status of the intelligence which was considered to be above Top Secret. It consisted of information that was gathered by breaking encrypted radio communications.[5]

At the time that France fell to the Axis Powers in June 1940, only a small number of SIS agents were in communication with Whaddon Hall. Early in the war, until about 1941, inexperienced SIS agents on the European continent spent too much time on the air, and jeopardised their security. However, by 1943, Gambier-Parry and his staff had engineered a substantial improvement in clandestine wireless communication.[6] The covert wireless network that Gambier-Parry established allowed him to stay in communication with SIS agents in many countries.[7]

The hall was converted for industrial use in the early 1960s and converted into a country club in the 1970s.[8] Following a serious fire in 1976,[1] the hall was refurbished and then converted into luxury flats in the 1980s.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Whaddon Hall, Whaddon". British listed buildings. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Whaddon Hall, Milton Keynes, England". Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Winslow Hall and the Lowndes family". Winslow history. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  4. ^ Pidgeon, Geoffrey (2003). Station X — The Secret Wireless War. Universal Publishing Solutions Online Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84375-252-3.
  5. ^ "From the Wireless War to Warwick". 2.warwick.ac.uk. University of Warwick. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  6. ^ Blishen, A. O. "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Parry, Sir Richard Gambier- (1894–1965), army officer and intelligence signals officer". oxford.dnb.com. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  7. ^ Asa Briggs (14 May 2012). "Book Reviews — MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service". History Today. Retrieved 22 Apr 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Whaddon". Buckinghamshire Family History Site. Retrieved 6 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°00′14″N 0°49′30″W / 52.004°N 0.825°W / 52.004; -0.825