Been stopping off at this post when passing for the last few years, but today was our lucky day! Someone had left the latch off and we where in. Deffinatly one of the best posts iv seen in recent years. “Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Posts are underground structures all over the United Kingdom, constructed as a result of the Corps’ nuclear reporting role and operated by volunteers during the Cold War between 1955 and 1991. In all but a very few instances the posts were built to a standard design consisting of a 14-foot-deep access shaft, a toilet/store and a monitoring room. The most unusual post was the non-standard one constructed in a cellar within Windsor Castle. A third of the total number of posts were closed in 1968 during a reorganisation and major contraction of the ROC. Several others closed over the next 40 years as a result of structural difficulties i.e. persistent flooding, or regular vandalism. The remainder of the posts were closed in 1991 when the majority of the ROC was stood down following the break-up of the Communist Bloc. Many have been demolished or adapted to other uses but the majority still exist, although in a derelict condition.”
In 1937, 450,000 square feet of disused gypsum workings next to Peter Ford’s plaster works were purchased by the Air Ministry for weapons storage during the Second World War. The RAF venture into underground storage was one of disaster and tragedy. The depot at Fauld became the site of the largest explosion in the UK, when 3,670 tons of bombs stored underground exploded en masse. After the explosion there was a mushroom cloud, about 50 yards wide and upwards out of sight. Mounds of earth weighing up to a ton in weight fell to the ground. Afterwards a fine dust up to 4 inches thick fell, and it was possible to walk without making any noise. A crater, half a mile across and 100 feet deep was left behind. Firefighters from Burton, Stafford and Lichfield attended. At the depot, both R.A.F. personnel and Italian prisoners of war were employed. Both airmen and Italians were killed in the blast. The entire mine was not destroyed, but the hills housing the mine completely disappeared. Access to the remaining tunnels opened up in late 2012, the location was kept very quiet and is now sealed again. I have only just decided to post these photos as it seems several forums have released them from there ‘private’ sections. Glad we got in while still could. Enjoy.
Krampnitz Kaserne was a military complex, outside Potsdam, created by the Germans during the rearmament period. It was used by the Nazis until the end of the Second World War. After the war it was used by Soviet troops until its abandonment in 1992. The site was used by the German army since 1937 when the cavalry moved its school from Hannover. It was also used as a driving training centre until the Russians took control of the area, taking over a day after the Germans abandoned it April 26th, 1945. The 35th Guards Motor Rifle Division was then stationed there until its abandonment in 1992, after the Dissolution of the Soviet Union. The whole complex consists of more than 50 buildings, most of which are apartment buildings and storage, though it also includes an officers’ club, a Tennis court, theatre and more. It is rumored that movies such as Inglourious Basterds and Enemy at the Gates shot some scenes here.
On 18th August 1939, the Air Ministry sought approval to acquire the disused Glynrhonwy Isaf slate quarry which had closed in 1930; the quarry, near Llanberis in North Wales, was deemed suitable for the storage of 18,000 tons of bombs. It consisted of a number of deep open pits, linked together by tunnels. Following the apparent success of the design employed at Harpur Hill in Derbyshire, the air ministry decided to use the same technique at Llanberis, converting the eastern pit into an underground depot, but because of the great depth of the quarry the design was adapted to produce a structure with two floors throughout. The lower level and a conventional flat reinforced concrete ceiling which also formed the floor of the upper level which had an arched roof like that at Harpur Hill. Standard and narrow gauge railway lines entered the lower level of the depot through the original quarry access tunnels, while three electric lifts transported bombs to the upper floor. The deep pits to the west of the depot were later used for burning and dumping redundant and dismantled ordnance. Overhead protection was given by forty feet of broken slate. In response to pressure from the treasury efforts were made to cheapen and accelerate the construction of Llanberis, but unfortunately the cost cutting had disastrous consequences only six months after the depot was opened.
A large Bath stone quarry, parts were used to store British art during WW2 and as an underground Royal Enfield factory. Part of the site is still used today by Wansdyke Security for secure storage space, other parts of the quarry are being quarried by Hanson.
RAF Rudloe Manor, formerly RAF Box, was a Royal Air Force station located north-east of Bath, United Kingdom between the towns ofBox and Corsham, in Wiltshire. It was one of several military installations situated in the area and covered three main sites. The station held various roles during its lifetime and the site has now been absorbed into the Basil Hill Barracks complex used by Defence Equipment and Support, Information Systems & Services.
Nocton Hall is a historic listed building in the village of Nocton, in Lincolnshire, England. Originally constructed for the Ellys family, it burnt down in 1834 and was rebuilt in 1841 for the first Earl of Ripon, who lived at the steward’s house in Nocton while the house was being built. The US Army’s 7th General Hospital was based at Nocton Hall during World War Two. RAF Nocton Hall was a 740 bed hospital under RAF control from the 1940s until 1984. It was used by civilians and forces personnel until 1984, when it was leased to the USAF as a United States Air Force wartime contingency hospital. During the Gulf War, over 1,300 US medical staff were sent to the Hall and many were billeted at RAF Scampton. Fortunately only 35 casualties had to be treated. In its later days 13 American personnel remained to keep the hospital serviceable. RAF Nocton Hall was handed back to the Her Majesty’s Government by the USAF on 30 September 1995. In October 2009 Nocton Hall was listed in The Victorian Society top 10 endangered buildings list in England and Wales.
The Anzio Camp is situated near Leek in Staffordshire. The camp was first used by the US Army in 1943, to house troops. In 1945/6 the camp was taken over by Polish troops. After the war it was used as a civilian settlement by the Poles until 1963/4 when they were moved to a purpose built site half a mile north of the camp I cannot find much information on what the camp was used for between 1963 and the early 80’s. In 1980 the MOD took over the site and it was used as a training camp for Regular and Territorial army troops and also scouts and cadets. The camp closed in 2004 as it was deemed surplus to requirements by the MOD I was surprised at the amount of damage since our last visit in early 2007, this place has been heavly vandalised.
Royal Ordnance Factory Featherstone was filling factory No.17, covering just over 64 hectares, the factory used to specialise in filling various munitions, including, Bombs, Shells, Smoke and Cartridges. It served a major role in WWII but since then has remained derelict, at some point BAE Systems took over the site and kept the majority of the buildings but sold off 13 hectares to HMP Service who have now constructed a prison on the remains of certain parts of the site. At present the remainding site is up for disposal and planning permission has been sought to transform the site into a housing estate.
The Royal Observer Corps (ROC) was a civil defence organisation operating in the United Kingdom between 29 October 1925 and 31 December 1995, when the Corps’ civilian volunteers were stood down. (ROC headquarters staff at RAF Bentley Priory stood down on 31 March 1996). Composed mainly of civilian spare-time volunteers, ROC personnel wore a Royal Air Force (RAF) style uniform and latterly came under the administrative control of RAF Strike Command and the operational control of the Home Office. Civilian volunteers were trained and administered by a small cadre of professional full-time officers under the command of the Commandant Royal Observer Corps; latterly a serving RAF Air Commodore. I have since learned the post has been sevearly fire damed :/ chavs.