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There are 22 designated Conservation Areas within the London Borough of Enfield, several of which are located in or adjacent to Palmers Green - in particular, the Lakes Estate Conservation Area, located on both sides of Alderman's Hill

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Trent Park Mansion

The Save Trent Park campaign has this week launched a new petition asking the owners of the mansion and former university site to set up a museum in the mansion to marks its vital top secret role during World War II.

The campaign fears that the new owners, the Berkeley Group, intend to divide the mansion up into private apartments, which would prevent public access.

The online petition, addressed to the Berkeley Group and to Enfield Council, the planning authority, is asking for the following:

  1. The establishment of a museum across the entire ground floor and relevant rooms of the basement of the mansion house highlighting the crucial role it played in WWII
  2. Public / community use of the upper floors of the mansion and the adjacent swimming pool
  3. Permanent public access across all of the grounds
  4. Sensitive restoration of all listed and heritage features of the estate
  5. A high quality development that reflects the Grade II listed building and its setting within Trent Park (a landscape designed by Humphry Repton) and the fact it is situated in the Green Belt and is included within the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

You can access the petition on the website.

Trent Park's wartime role - long kept completely secret - was a key factor in the eventual outcome of the War.  According to historian Helen Fry, Winston Churchill attached equal importance to its intelligence gathering as to that being carried out at Bletchley Park.  The mansion was used to accommodate captured German generals, in conditions that were very luxurious compared with a normal prisoner of war camp - and on first arrival at the mansion the generals were greeted by an MI6 officer who claimed to be a member of the Royal Family.  During their captivity the German officers led a leisured life, not suspecting that their conversations were being bugged and transcribed by "secret listeners" in the basement.

You can find out more about the operation on Helen Fry's website and purchase her book The M Room.  And if you get a chance to go to one of her lectures on the subject, don't miss it - her account is utterly absorbing.

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PGC Webmaster posted a reply #2098 12 Apr 2016 20:25
This morning Radio 4's Today programme included an interview with Helen Fry about the need for a museum at Trent Park and with one of the "secret listeners" (he actually worked at another site, but doing the same sort of work). Go to 2 hours 49 minutes 40 seconds at