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24 September 2014

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You are in: Wiltshire > About Wiltshire > Features > Bunker under the garden shed

Salisbury Underground Bunker

Bunker under the garden shed

"I accidentally came across a 25ft large underground bunker/WWII command post under my garden in Salisbury at the weekend."

So what did you get up to at the weekend?  A spot of gardening? A bit of DIY?

Well Andy and Fiona, in Old Sarum in Salisbury, did both and in the process managed to dig up a room bigger then the ground floor of their house under the garden shed.

Salisbury Underground Bunker

The bunker under the garden shed

It's a fairly typical house that Fiona and Andy have been living in, on the outskirts of Salisbury, for the last year.

Typical, that is, until the Wiltshire couple decided to knock down their old garden shed and in the process unearthed a manhole leading to a massive secret underground room:

"We couldn't believe it," says Fiona.  "We were absolutely amazed that firstly it was underneath the garden and secondly the size of it.

"It’s much bigger than we thought it was going to be when we first came down. You just don't expect it really."

Salisbury Underground Bunker

In fact it's bigger than the ground floor area of the couple's house.

A child's shoe, tins of food and bones

Buried 12 feet below their garden, and measuring almost 30 foot square, the damp dark underground bunker not only boasts two pillars to hold up the seven foot high ceiling but something more sinister as well:

"We've found an assortment of things a toothbrush, a child's shoe, some tins of food and some bones," says Fiona.

"We had the Scenes of Crime officers, in white suits, detective inspectors and policemen here who were quite shocked by what they found. But it wasn't anything human and luckily they turned out to be horse and pig bones."

Salisbury Underground Bunker

So what is it?

Bones aside, the real question is… what exactly is this large bunker doing hidden under a garden in South Wiltshire and what exactly was it used for?

For Fiona it could be anything from a mustard gas storage shelter or nuclear bunker to something as mundane as a water tank.

For Norman Parker however, an Aviation Historian from South Wiltshire, the clues are all there:

"It's quite impressive," says Norman, "but you can see the definitive line all around the walls.  At the same height there's a pipe, which goes through the wall and turns downwards, I've taken that to be the overflow.  Adjacent to it there are two pipes which, I take it to be, are the inlet pipes.  These probably came just from storm water drains to keep it topped up."

Salisbury Underground Bunker

Right so our underground bunker, our WWII command post is actually a water tank, a static water tank, for the local fire brigade…

Well, if Fiona gets her way, it's not going to be that for long.  With bitumen already covering the walls it's not only watertight but ripe for a quick conversion to Wiltshire’s first underground swimming pool...

last updated: 27/06/07

Have Your Say

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Andy Lewis
Its my bunker, and I'm still trying to decide what to do with it, any suggestions?

You are in: Wiltshire > About Wiltshire > Features > Bunker under the garden shed

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