The secret role of Beaumanor Hall

(Source: Southgate ARC)

The Leicester Mercury reports on the top secret wartime listening station role of a Leicestershire mansion

As we approach the 75th anniversary of VE Day in May, a Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteer (LLLSV) tells the fascinating story of Beaumanor Hall’s crucial role in the Second World War.

Many readers may not know, but Beaumanor Hall was the site of a vital wartime intelligence service, namely the War Office “Y” (wireless) Group or W.O.Y.G.

The top secret “Y” Group was part of M18 Wireless Intelligence and Beaumanor was a highly-strategic “Intercept Station”, concerned with monitoring the enemy’s main channels of wireless traffic and communications.

The “Y” Intercept Listening Service operated from 1941 to 1945 and its wartime activities were as top secret as those at the Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park.

Click here to read the full story at The Leicester Mercury.

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2 thoughts on “The secret role of Beaumanor Hall

  1. Tracey Gardner G5VU

    The Garats Hay facility at Woodhouse near Loughborough was one of Britain’s least known Sigint sites.
    During the Second World War the neighbouring Beaumanor Hall was used as one of the main Y stations supporting Bletchley Park.
    After the war the adjacent camp which had grown up around Beaumanor Hall became the training site for British Army sigint specialists serving in 9 Signals and 13 Signals Regiments.
    Instruction included languages as well as signals training. Arabic was widely taught at Garats Hay, Chinese was taught at nearby RAF North Luffenham, while Russian was provided at Beaconfield.
    Initially known as 10 Wireless Squadron, it became 224 Signals Squadron in 1961.
    In 1980, 224 Signals Squadron amalgamated with 4 Communications Group (which supported GCHQ) to form the Communications and Signals Group.
    One of the units superintended at Garats Hay was the Special Projects Agency.
    In 1998, Garats Hay closed and eventually became the new site for Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College.
    Communications and Systems Group was relocated to Chicksands in Bedfordshire where it became part of the Defence Special Signals School.
    Chicksands is also the location of the Defence Intelligence Security Centre.

  2. Paul Evans

    The original receiver huts are still there and have been heavily refurbished to become luxury ‘Cabins’. The Y station is acknowledged in at least one of the episodes of “Foyle’s War”, both as an ‘actual’ filming location and as the source of documents arriving at Bletchley Park by a motorcycle courier (riding an army issue BSA).

    Unfortunately, little else remains and no trace of antenna tower bases can be found by viewing in Satellite mode in Google Maps or Earth.


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