An eye scan is required to gain entry to this WWII-era London spy mansion where MI6 operatives created the chaos that shrouded the D-Day attack at Normandy.
The house was among six in the town where 55 operatives lived and worked while posing as villagers. Now, it has been redeveloped into a luxury mansion inspired by the original spy house.
“The current developer bought the plot a few years ago and decided to replicate the original house, but rather than filling it with eavesdropping technology, he made it a luxury mansion,” Jeremy Gee, managing director of listing brokerage Beauchamp Estates, told The Post.
In addition to their information-collection duties, the Arkley houses were used to send out misleading messages about the D-Day landings at Normandy in 1944, directing them to Norway to confuse the Nazis, according to a press release.
“That’s why Hitler wasn’t sure where they would land on the fourth of May,” said Gee. “Hitler kept the tanks back because he was not sure where they were going to attack [anticipating attacks in Norway or Pas-de-Calais] because we fooled them with MI6 misinformation and signals.”
The Arkley MI6 team’s primary mission was to intercept messages from enemy spies in Britain and detect submarine radio waves with the help of volunteers around the country.
“If a submarine surfaced, MI6 radio spying service would pick up the signals. If a spy in Britain was communicating to Berlin, MI6 would monitor the signals,” said Gee.
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Messages were then sent via motorbike to be decoded at Bletchley Park, where Alan Turing famously developed the first modern computer, as depicted by Benedict Cumberbatch in his award-winning 2014 performance in “The Imitation Game.”
Messages were then forwarded from Bletchley Park directly to Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the war cabinet.
Churchill selected the location himself because of its height, 440 feet above sea level — perfect for intercepting transmissions. Plus, Arkley’s gated homes have large plots of land, adding extra privacy.
“Arkley is the highest point in London. From Arkley, you get sweeping views of London and the surrounding countryside and region,” said Gee, who lives in Arkley.
The house was requisitioned from a banker and given bulletproof doors and windows, antennas on the roof, top-of-the-line listening devices and a police detail.
“In the village, they [intelligence operatives] posed as ordinary villagers, though ordinary villagers knew they weren’t. Churchill gave orders to look as normal as possible, especially from their air. They posed as everyday villagers, going to the pub, cycling around the villagers — being as normal as possible,” said Gee.
MI6 constructed sheds in the yard to do their monitoring work and agents lived in the house. When the war ended, the house and the sheds were torn down to erase all traces of their top-secret work.
The house today
But this 11,000-square-foot Edwardian country house, asking about $12 million, was remodeled by luxury developer Domvs London and sits on the site of the original Spy Base where secret agents intercepted radio transmissions.
Rowley Ridge’s six-bedroom, six-bathroom-plus interior has been redone in luxury — with the latest technology that would make any WWII spy swoon. Add-ons include a panic room, security cameras throughout, remote monitoring and Crestron smart home technology — plus the biometric entry system that uses an eye scanner.
Arkley is now a celebrity enclave, with homes owned by Zayn Malik and a number of sports stars, who apparently like it for the same reason Churchill did — the privacy, said Gee.
This luxurious home also has all the features you’d expect in a luxury home, with oak parquet floors and marble and rare stone finishes.
The gated driveway winds past large gardens and golf course views to a double-fronted brick house inspired by the original Edwardian villa on the site.
The covered doorway is flanked by two bay windows; above each are dormer and oval windows. The gray roof has several chimneys, like the original house.
The door opens to an oval-shaped, three-story atrium bathed in light from an oval glass cupola on the roof. There are galleried landings on each floor that overlook the atrium.
The back end of the ground floor has a 70-foot reception area with a lounge, a drawing room and a dining area. French doors open to a rear garden. The first floor also has a study and a family room.
The kitchen has a veined marble island with a breakfast bar, and cabinets are concealed behind folding doors.
Below, the basement has a gym, a steam room, a natural stone pool pool, a changing room with a shower, a game room and a Dolby Atmos home theater with a wet bar.
Upstairs are three bedroom suites (with waterproof televisions in the bathrooms), a guest suite, a panic room and the primary bedroom suite.
The main bedroom suite sweeps the length of the first floor and offers a private balcony. It has a walk-in closet and a bathroom with a freestanding tub on a marble plinth and doors to the private balcony.
“Rowley Ridge by Domvs London is an outstanding, newly built house with the architectural design providing an elegant classical exterior facade, with the beautiful interiors designed around the three-story central atrium,” said a statement by Jon O’Brien, CEO of developer Domvs London.