During the Second World War, the Mazehouse, which was unoccupied at the time, was requisitioned for military use. The house is ideally placed not far from the east coast and was used initially as a training centre for SOE recruits.
Later on in the War, however, it seems that the house was used by the secret services for a very different purpose. Certainly at one stage late in the War, the house was used as a radio broadcasting station. It was at this time that the writer Ranulph Williams, among others, was stationed in the house.
The idea, it seems, was to broadcast into mainland Europe, with covert relay stations making it seem as if the broadcasts were coming from within the occupied territory itself.
Some of the broadcasts were of propaganda and counter-intelligence material, but a lot of it was simply designed to provoke and demoralise German occupying troops. This led to some very bizarre broadcasts, including hardcore pornography and, under Williams’ influence, some occult and supernatural themed news and stories.
This project was closed down after only a few months of operation, ostensibly because it was difficult to prove any effectiveness for the broadcasts, although there have been persistent rumours that certain incidents in the house meant that the project could not be continued anyway.
The house then remained unoccupied until after the war.