Deep Shelters & Air Raid Shelters

With the constant aerial assault on the British Isle by the Luftwaffe, towns and cities and civilians sought refuge underground.  Morrison and Anderson shelter were available to the public to erect in their own properties.  Local Councils would also seek to build public shelters to offer refuge for people without sufficient protection.  These shelters were buried deep within the local rock strata which would offer a natural protection against explosions.  Deep shelters were also constructed within military establishments.

AEI / WT Henley’s Cable Works Deep Shelter, Gravesend

AEI / WT Henley’s Cable Works Deep Shelter, Gravesend
The history of WT Henley, who founded the company that bore his name, began in 1837 in a workshop in London, where he manufactured covered wires. Henley progressed at an impressive rate and pioneered the submarine cable field with the vision of linking the world telegraphically. In 1859 he spent £8,000 constructing a factory in North Woolwich....

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Ashley Road Deep Shelter, Epsom

Ashley Road Deep Shelter, Epsom
The history of Ashley Road Shelter is unclear, apart from that it was built in three stages starting from 1937.  The three different stages of construction are clear through out the shelter as there are three different types of tunnels throughout, staring with brick lined tunnels, leading to corrugated tunnels and finally bare chalk tunnels. ...

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Bridge Valley Road Deep Shelter, Bristol

Bridge Valley Road Deep Shelter, Bristol
Originally known as the Portnalls Number One Railway Tunnel and served the Bristol Port and Pier Railway's Hotwells Branch with six trains running throughout the week.  The tunnel extended for 175 yards under what now is the Bridge Valley Road.  When Great Western and Midland Railway a joint venture in to extend the lines from...

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Carshalton Park Air Raid Shelter, Surrey

Carshalton Park Air Raid Shelter, Surrey
Prior to World War II, the central government commissioned local authorities to undertake a survey of their area to ascertain if there were premises in shopping, business and other areas where the public were likely to congregate more than seven minutes’ walk from the homes. The result of this led to a series of buried trenches being...

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Clapham South WW2 Air Raid Deep Shelter, London

Clapham South WW2 Air Raid Deep Shelter, London
Clapham South is one of the eight deep level shelters constructed in London during World War II beneath existing underground stations. During the Blitz of 1940, a reappraisal of deep-shelter policy was undertaken and at the end of October the Government decided to construct a system of deep shelters linked to existing tube stations. Tube Stations at...

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Coulsdon Deep Shelter, Surrey

Coulsdon Deep Shelter, Surrey
Around the time of WWII Surrey County Council commissioned the building of four deep shelters, Coulsdon Deep Shelter was the fourth and was built within the grounds of Cane Hill Asylum.  After the war, the shelter was purchased by Cox, Hargreaves and Thomson, Limited who specialised in the manufacture of optical devices - mainly lenses for...

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Fan Bay Deep Shelter, Dover

Fan Bay Deep Shelter, Dover
During World War 2, a cross channel duel between the Nazis and Great Britain developed, with both sides places number of large guns on either side of the channel, with the mission to bombard shipping and the either side of the channel. With the fall of France to the Germans, guns were quickly installed at...

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Foxenden Quarry Deep Shelter, Guildford

Foxenden Quarry Deep Shelter, Guildford
Foxenden Quarry Deepshelter is in Guildford, underneath a car park on York Road. It was a purpose built public air raid shelter for the people of Guildford. It was one of eighteen other air raid shelters and tunnels in the area, all of which varied in size and were mostly converted cellars and basements. There...

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London Road Deep Shelter, Portsmouth

London Road Deep Shelter, Portsmouth
London road deep shelter was the second of two deep shelters to be built in Portsmouth, the other being in Wymering chalk pit. Work was started to construct these shelters in late 1941 and by early 1942 they were open. They were designed to hold 2500 people underground with food, sanitation, water, light and places...

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Lydden Spout Battery Deep Shelter, Dover

Lydden Spout Battery Deep Shelter, Dover
During World War II, both the Nazi's and the British placed Large Cross Channel guns on the cliff tops overlooking the strait of Dover.  Throughout the War a duel raged between the two sides and this gunnery dual earned the area the name "Hellfire Corner". To counter the German aggression, Churchill ordered Dover to be...

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Shorts Tunnels and Factory, Rochester

Shorts Tunnels and Factory, Rochester
The Shorts Brothers founded their company in 1908 after they heard news of the Wright Brothers flight and the opened a factory on Sheppey Island in 1909. By 1913 the success of the company and their seaplanes meant that they required a larger site and purchased 8 acres of land in Rochester that had direct...

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South Foreland Battery, Dover

South Foreland Battery, Dover
During World War 2 the Nazis placed a number of large guns on the French coast with the mission to bombard the English Coast, namely Dover.  This spiralled into a duel between the British gunners and the German gunners with a number of new batteries being built on cliffs at Dover. One such battery was...

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St Margaret’s 5.5″ Battery Shelter, Dover

St Margaret’s 5.5″ Battery Shelter, Dover
St Margaret's Bay contained a number of World War II sites, one being the 5.5" Unrotated Projectile Anti Aircraft Batteries which were built to protect the main battery on the cliff side.  Located nearby is a small deep shelter to protect to troops from incoming Axis bombs, there were two main entrances down into the...

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St Martins Battery & Deep Shelter, Dover

St Martins Battery & Deep Shelter, Dover
St Martins Battery was first built in 1876 to provide protection to Dover from the expected French invasion and was first outfitted with three teniinch rifled muzzle loader, the battery was then closed in 1909.  In 1940 the site was reopened as an Emergency Coastal Battery, it was modified and renamed the Western Heights Battery;...

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Vickers-Armstrong Deep shelter, Brooklands, Surrey

Vickers-Armstrong Deep shelter, Brooklands, Surrey
The United Kingdoms aviation roots can be traced back to the Brooklands when a number of high profile aviation pioneers setup their businesses there.  The Bristoal Airplane Company, Roe Vickers and Sopwith all used the Countries first Aerodrome as a base for their flying schools.  These schools closed in 1914 and in 1915 Vickers set...

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Modified: 6th Feb 2018