The £8.5 million mansion that was once a Second World War spy base

The £8.5 million mansion that was once a Second World War spy base

Rowley Ridge has a fascinating history High up in the rolling hills that intersect London’s Barnet border with Hertfordshire, the small village of Arkley stands as a secret historical memorial to events few in the capital remember.

Today, the area is home to just a smattering of houses and pubs but not too long ago it, and its most famous property, Rowley Ridge, played a vital part in Britain’s WW2 effort.

The stunning home is on the market for £8.5 million and is described by agents Beauchamp’s as the “finest newly built country house” in the area.

Complete with six double bedrooms spread over three floors and gorgeous garden and leisure facilities, the house is modern marvel on London’s greenbelt.

The house has all the creature comforts anyone could ever need including a cinema room, a game’s room and a health spa but it didn’t used to be this plush and plentiful.

Between 1939 and 1945, the site the house is built on was used to set up a Radio Security Service that proved integral to scramble and decode messages from German bombers and U-boats.

Rowley Ridge and the village of Arkley’s role as a top secret M16 base began at the start of WW2 when M16 established a Radio Security Service in the area.

The aim of their perilous activities was to intercept coded wireless messages operated by enemy agents in Britain and transmissions from German U-boats.

Transforming a quaint country village into a state-of-the-art spy centre wasn’t easy and a lot of alterations had to be made.

The converted houses were guarded by police and given bullet proof doors and windows to ward of against potential attack.

It was a monumental effort that irreparably changed the area, but today little remains.

Take a look through our gallery below to see the fascinating differences between wartime Arkley and the modern day glamour of Rowley Ridge.

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