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Top Secret: From Ciphers to Cyber Security

This exhibition explored the fascinating world of codebreaking, ciphers and secret communications.

Visitors could discover the story of Alan Turing and his team of codebreakers at Bletchley Park, learn the secrets of a Soviet spy ring in Cold War Britain, and see how modern-day cybercrime works. Top Secret explored over a century’s worth of communications intelligence through handwritten documents, declassified files and incredible artefacts from GCHQ’s and the Science Museum Group’s historic collections.

The exhibition trace the evolution of the gadgets and devices used to conceal and decode crucial messages. Visitors heard from GCHQ staff doing top secret work to defend against terror attacks, and found out more about the challenges of maintaining digital security in the 21st century—and tested their skills to become codebreakers in our interactive puzzle zone.


Top Secret came to Bradford after hugely successful runs at the Science Museum in London in 2019 and Science and Industry Museum in Manchester in 2021.

Principal funder