A Former WWII M16 Spy Post Re-Emerges As A Ultra-Modern Mansion
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A Former WWII M16 Spy Post Re-Emerges As A Ultra-Modern Mansion

The newly developed six-bedroom home in North London has hit the market.

By Liz Lucking
Tue, May 18, 2021 11:35amGrey Clock 2 min

A pocket of leafy suburban London that once held a secret, wartime intelligence base with bullet-proof doors and windows, and wireless transmitters on the roof, is now a newly built luxury home.

Set in the village of Arkley in North London, Rowley Ridge, as it’s known, spans 1020 square metres and hit the market in April for £8.5 million (A$15.4 million) with estate agency Beauchamp Estates.

During World War II, the site of Rowley Ridge—then an Edwardian villa—was selected by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as one of a handful of detached country houses to be a clandestine listening post base used by M16 to spy on German signals, intercept illicit wireless messages and support the code-breaking taking place at the famed Bletchley Park, according to a news release from the brokerage.

Casa E Progetti

Set 134-metres above sea level, Arkley was chosen by Churchill for its advantageous altitude—conductive for capturing radio transmissions.

“As a local resident I am naturally biased, but I truly believe that Arkley is a true leafy oasis,” Jeremy Gee, managing director of Beauchamp Estates said in the release.

It’s “one of London’s most exclusive enclaves, bordered by both greenbelt countryside and the private golf course, yet only nine miles from London’s West End,” he said. Arkley’s hidden role as a World War II M16 base adds the excitement and glamour of the secret services, spies and gadgets.”

Casa E Progetti

Now the six-bedroom family-home, developed by Domvs London—is loaded with very different amenities than it would have housed some 80 years ago.

There’s a three-story atrium, a main reception room with a lounge area, drawing room area and dining area, a custom-designed kitchen, a main bedroom suite with a private balcony and views across the nearby private golf course, according to the release.

On the basement level is a soundproof cinema room with a cocktail bar, a game room, a swimming pool, a steam room and a gym. There’s also a panic room and a biometric entry system.


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1. Interiors beyond the primary palette 

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2 House of Joy

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3. Abigail Ahern Masterclass

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4. Interiors Now!

Looking for a visual crash course in international design trends with longevity? This is the book for you. Featuring homes across the globe, from New York to Auckland via Avignon, the biggest dilemma for readers is settling on a style. Many of the projects are owned by designers and creatives, lending a dynamic edge to this tome, now in its 40th year. Taschen, $50

5. Home by the Sea 

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For many Australians, the ocean holds an almost hypnotic appeal. Home by the Sea by Natalie Walton lets you imagine, for a little while at least, what it’s like living the dream in a beach shack in Byron Bay. The book tours 18 homes in and around the region and the hinterland owned by artists, designers and makers. With photography by Amelia Fullarton, it champions the good life. Hardie Grant, $60            

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Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

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