Secret Intelligence Network

Discover the Secret Side of Milton Keynes’ History!

British Secret Intelligence sites routes in MK’s Countryside

Dotted around the MK area are a number of sites that had, or still have, connections to the British Secret Intelligence Service. Spies, secret operations, clandestine communications, propaganda, code breaking – it was all happening here during WWII, and continues today. Take your bike slightly further afield, exploring some pretty villages and surrounding countryside, whilst looking into a hidden past.

Bletchley Park

Some of the famous locations

Bletchley Park, home of the codebreakers, is well known throughout the world for its work in breaking the Enigma code, which massively helped the Allies in winning the war. Yet Bletchley is just one location among many that existed in the area. Only a matter of miles down the road from Bletchley is Whaddon Village, the home of MI6’s Section VIII. Here, the intelligence gathered and organized by the Secret Service was communicated around the world, via the latest technology of the time. To the North of here is Hanslope Park – currently home to Her Majesty’s Government Communications Centre, an active intelligence base. In the past, Hanslope Park was home to the Radio Security Service, which helped develop and house essential wireless communications technologies.

Bletchley Park Video Presentation

Famous around the globe for its work in breaking the Enigma code, Bletchley Park at one time housed over 9,000 people on its grounds. It was the living and breathing machine for intelligence work during the war, and it had strong connections with other bases in the area. Watch the video below by filmmaker Rob Key, as he talks with Bletchley Park historian Thomas Cheetham

Whaddon Video Presentation

The quaint village of Whaddon, a few miles West of Milton Keynes, was once home to the MI6’s Section VIII. Responsible for communicating intelligence to the field, Section VIII also trained radio operatives, oversaw the entirety of wartime propaganda, and ran Special Communications and Liaison Units overseas. Rob Key talks to David Abrutat, historian and author, about the little known significance of Whaddon.

Today, Hanslope Park is home to Her Majesty’s Government Communications Centre, a site with close ties to GCHQ, responsible for providing secure communications to the British Government and Intelligence Services around the world. During WWII it was home to the Radio Security Service before becoming the Diplomatic Wireless Service, the precursor to its current incarnation. Hanslope Park is a living legacy to the covert operations that previously existed in the area. In conversation with David Abrutat, this video looks into Hanslope’s development, as well as Alan Turing’s surprising appearance there.

Some of the wireless radio communications technology used by the Intelligence Services during the war and beyond, can be seen at the Milton Keynes Museum, in ‘The Telephone Collection’. Watch this video below, as we talk with Katherine Howells, Visual Collections Researcher at The National Archives, about what history means, and what it’s like when the past is kept secret from the present.

Documentary Film – The Milton Keynes Secret Intelligence Network

An exploration of family and local history, this short documentary details the Milton Keynes Secret Intelligence Network, told through the lens of Rob Key’s research into his Grandfather’s photographs, a selection of images that give a glimpse of the life of an MI6 Spy.

The Milton Keynes Secret Intelligence Network Video