Waddeson Manor


Waddesdon Manor (National Trust) was the magnificent country home of Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild.



Interiors at Waddesdon.

The prestigious Château Lafite wine estate was bought by the Rothschild family in 1868. The wine cellars in Waddesdon are clearly well stocked with some very expensive wines…

Bletchley Park


(L) Inside the mansion house and (R) a reconstruction of Alan Turing‘s office in Hut 8 in Bletchley Park. Having fallen into disuse, the site was threatened by “redevelopment” in the early 1990s. Fortunately the local council stepped in and the site is now a major tourist attraction.


(L) Disk pack-based storage and (R) a TR-48 analogue computer at the nearby, relatively overlooked, National Museum of Computing.


The Harwell Dekatron computer from the early 1950s is the world’s oldest working digital computer. Being based on relays, calculations are slow and noisy! (L) Close-up of the dekatron tubes used for memory.


(L) Rear and (R) front of a reconstructed Colossus Mk 2 computer, as used at Bletchley Park to break the sophisticated Lorenz cipher. This was arguably more significant, and more impressive, than that of the better-known Enigma cipher. The tape visible on the right speeds through the machine at an astounding 40 feet (or 5000 characters) per second. Post-war secrecy meant that achievements of Colossus only become public knowledge in the mid 1970s.


Chilterns III