motel was built alongside the new Barnet By Pass in 1932.
The Barnet By Pass had been built in 1929 and the Thatched Barn
was a two-storey mock-Tudor hotel built beside it. It had been commissioned in 1927 by a Mrs Merrick.
It was bought by holiday camp founder, Billy Butlin, before being requisitioned as ’Station XV’ by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in World War Two, and used to train spies. By the end of the war the building had fallen into disrepair, the owner went bankrupt and in 1961 the hotel was put up for sale.
In the 1960s, it became a Playboy Club before reverting to its original function.
It became associated with Elstree Film Studios, and was used as a location for TV series The Saint, and later The Prisoner. Its close proximity to the studios meant that it was always a popular destination for film stars between the 1930s and the 1960s. With an elaborate dining hall and heated outdoor swimming pool, it was considered the height of luxury for the glamorous stars that graced it during this period.
The original building was demolished at the end of the 1980s, and replaced by a modern hotel.