Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Guardhouse And The Bunker

This derelict bungalow stands on top of the concealed entrance to a secret nuclear bunker which once housed an R2 ROTOR radar system.

The Rotor project was divided into two areas, east coast and west coast, partly as an economy measure. The threat was seen as higher on the east coast, so the majority of the sites had underground protected operations rooms. The west coast had mainly surface bunkers or semi-sunk ones. The distinctive feature of the east coast sites was the bungalow, which served as access/guardroom to the bunkers. The bungalow concealed an access corridor, which led to a one-, two- or three-level bunker.

These bunkers were known as R1 for single level bunkers, R2, R3 and the SOC - R4. In construction, a massive hole was first dug and usually extensive de-watering had to take place. The bunker was then constructed and buried under earth. The bunker had 10-foot thick ferro-concrete walls, complete with its own borehole, generators and filtered air conditioning. They were supposed to give protection against a near miss by a 20 kT nuclear weapon. The west coast sites had similarly massive bunkers, but built on the surface.


Anonymous said...

In around 1983 I was studying geography in the Runswick area and for a few days I stayed in the now derelict guard house which was then a hostle used my NYCC.
The entrance to the bunker was bricked up but a hole big enough to squeeze through had been made so we explored the bunker, I don't remember much apart from it being very dark and damp and had the feel of an old military building.
Steve, Harrogate

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