Burlington Cold War City

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burlington_bunker_600.jpg If you thought The Greenbrier bunker was impressive wait till you see what the UK kept hidden under a small town in the UK.

NOTE: All these awesome photos (not PhotoShopped) were taken by Dan Brown. His website is www.bathintime.co.uk Many thanks to Dan for letting me use it here and I apologise for the lack of credits before.

A 35 acre subterranean Cold War City that lies 100 feet beneath Corsham. Built in the late 50s this massive city complex was designed by Government personnel in the event of a nuclear strike. A former Bath stone quarry the city, code named Burlington, was to be the site of the main Emergency Government War Headquarters - the hub of the Country's alternative seat of power outside London.

Over a kilometre in length, and boasting over 60 miles of roads. Blast proof and completely self-sufficient the secret underground site could accommodate up to 6,000 people, in complete isolation from the outside world, for up to three months.

An underground lake and treatment plant could provide all the drinking water needed whilst 12 huge tanks could store the fuel required to keep the four massive generators, in the underground power station, running for up to three months. And unlike most urban cities, above ground, the air within the complex could also be kept at a constant humidity and heated to around 20 degrees. The city was also equipped with the second largest telephone exchange in Britain, a BBC studio from which the PM could address the nation and an internal Lamson Tube system that could relay messages, using compressed air, throughout the complex.

Below are some photos of the unused facilities. It was maintained in working order until the late 1980's until it was cut back to a staff of 4 and then decommisioned in December 2005.

burlington_bbc_broadcast_area.jpg Above is the BBC studio room. burlington_escalator.jpg Above is the retro escalator to one of the main areas. burlington_tele_exchange.jpg The bunker featured an exact replica of the telephone exchange of it's time. The entire nations phone lines could have run through this system. burlington_old_phone.jpg burlington_entrace.jpg Feels like City of Ember? burlington_tunnel.jpg The bunker boasts 60 miles of roads. burlington_map.jpg Here's a map with the areas marked and it's relative size shown. It's big!

It wasn't until 2005 that it became unclassified as the UK Ministory of Defence put the area up for sale. Read full BBC article here.

The BBC has an extensive photo gallery, interactive map and video of the bunker.

This would have to be the closests to a real life City of Ember out there. It's spooky looking at the photos and to imagine that it was maintained up until the 1980's and has never once been used.

It also opens up the question of how many other bunkers like this are still classified and in operation?

For more info on this amazing cold war city check out this site and this article from The Guardian.

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