A Portex and its wheels on display at the museum

The Royal Signals Museum (or Royal Corps of Signals Museum), in Blandford Camp, Dorset, England, is the UK's national museum of army communications. Amongst its extensive collection of historic communications equipment, there are a number of items of cryptographic interest, and a special "codes and ciphers" exhibit.

What is there to see?Edit

Cryptographic equipmentEdit


A Typex Mk 23

  • A 3-wheel Enigma machine.
  • A Typex Mk 23, and a set of Typex rotors are also on display.
  • A Portex together with a set of its wheels.
  • Three M-209-Bs
  • A Rockex machine.
  • A Derby cipher machine.
  • A Slidex.
  • A Crypdix — cryptographic equipment captured from the Iraqis during the Gulf War, originally manufactured by Marconi in the UK.
  • One-time pads printed on silk sheets, used by SOE during World War II.
  • Argentinian Datotek encryption equipment [1].



A Slidex, M-209-B and other cryptographic equipment

A special "codes and ciphers" section gives an overview of cryptography, discussing simple classical schemes, describing the Enigma machine, and the use of Colossus at Bletchley Park. There's some interactive displays: a visitor can try their hand at solving a simple Caesar cipher and a Grille cipher, and a PC runs some software explaining the Enigma machine and the role of ULTRA intelligence in World War II.

Museum detailsEdit


The museum is located within the Blandford Camp, an army training camp sited (vaguely) between Salisbury and Bournemouth in Dorset.

  • By bus: A bus from Salisbury (Wilts and Dorset services 184) costs a little over £6.00 and takes around 40 minutes to reach the camp. It is necessary to get a visitor's pass at the guardroom at the gate, and ID of some sort is requested. Inside the camp, the "NAAFI" bus stop is closest to the museum.

Admission chargesEdit

The prices (from January 2005) are as follows:

Adults £5.50
Senior Citizens £4.50
Children £3.50
Family Ticket £15.00

(There are reduced rates for groups, schools, and special parties.)

External linksEdit

This page is part of Cryptotourism, a collaborative project to build a guide about museums and other locations of interest for cryptography and its history.
All pages List of places by country Cipher machines
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