For sale: Britain’s underground city

The subterranean complex that was built in the 1950s to house prime minister Harold Macmillan’s cabinet and 4,000 civil servants in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack is being put on the market. Just four maintenance men are left.

Cold War City
covers 240 acres and has 60 miles of roads and its own railway station. It even includes a pub called the Rose and Crown.


Already two uses are being considered: a data store for City firms or the biggest wine cellar in Europe. Other ideas put forward include a nightclub, a 1950s theme park or a reception centre for asylum seekers.

The bunker is in a former mine near Corsham in Wiltshire. A system of underground power stations would have provided electricity to the 100,000 lamps that lit its streets and guided the way to a pub modelled on the Red Lion in Whitehall.

A spur line was built inside a tunnel on the London-Bristol railway, linking it to the bunker. It was meant as an escape route for the royal family to flee London in the event of an attack.

Code-named Burlington, it was never used.

See also Subterranea Britanica Cold War.
Via Eyebeam reBlog The Times.