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13.03.2016
Kathleen StaffordI was in the WRAF in 1951 and worked at RAF Hawthorne as a teleprinter operator in the underground "city".
Jan WoodMy father-Gilbert Wood and his partner, Olga Lehman painted murals somewhere on this site. Mark QuestedJamie, Spring Quarry is a dark, dank old underground quarry, full of asbestos, with danger of rock falls, wet and damp, 100 underground, stuffy air supply, no natural light, and the lights have to stay on otherwise one would be plunged in darkness, etc. Mark questedDear WANT TO VISIT,The Relocation Site (commonly known as Burlington) is within the boundaries of the MOD military base, JSU Corsham.
Mark QuestedMr IHBDTOT010509 - You most likely entered one of the other sites, as all the entrances into the Relocation site are within the boundaries of the military base, Corsham JSU.
XestopAn early statement refers to the site site being a sand stone quarry - actually its limestone - small, but very significant if you live in Bath!
NeilI was in the RAF during the early eighties and remember being sent from my base camp at RAF Shawbury in Shropshire down to RAF Rudloe Manor.
MikeWas a student at Corsham in the sixties and thought my landlady was kidding when she told me about this underground city, the locals seemed to revel in the mystique of it all, it certainly deserves a documentary programme on TV. Mark Quested(In answer to Rich Alder's question), the energy source used was the national grid! Mark QuestedRich Adler, the energy source used to heat and power the sites was called THE NATIONAL GRID! In the knowAs a born and bred local of Neston, rumours of this place abounded, as kids we gained access via an entrance not marked on the maps, were fairly quickly 'caught' and given a right dressing down and escorted out, we managed about 60 yards into the complex, as kids though we weren't sure what it was all about.
Sean PCould all of these underground roads lead to some of the biggest southern cities in britian?????
BenPaige, There would be an air distribution system taking air from the outside with massive filter banks to remove any contamination in the air.
TrishI remember the locality when as a small child I lived with my parents, on the RAF Hawthorn base - my father being employed underground at Rudlow Manor. MarkThe best bit is that the mines are still full of high quality sand stone, but as the MOD is a "Not for profit" part of government it won't be mined. CharlotteI wasn't surprised to find that such a place still exists, however I am awed by the sheer scale of the site.
KaiTruly disgusting to see how much better protected rich people were during the war but hey nothing changes, if you aint got lots of money you're considered worthless and you fight for your queen and country like sheep.
MoleAn authoritative history of this site is to be found on the rather excellent Subbrit site. Alex FryerI find this facinating- i'd like to see if I could hack living in a bunker with a bunch of people and try to be self sufficient. EricIncredible,Wiltshire's own "middle earth".Just for the cold war,crisis, what crisis!!!!.
Steve MatthewsThere will be a segment on Blue peter this month or next about the burlington underground city! Jean BoydI am interested in living in a similar situation I can build, sew, draw, and do many other crafts, I have a 16 year old daughter. OllyOoh, I sense enormous potential for some kind of computer game: a kind of Splinter Cell crossed with Silent Hill crossed with Lara Croft stylee game! Claude BallsYou can rest assured that it will never be open as any form of museum - just think of the Health & Safety issues alone, what cost public liability insurance!
Steve BedelleI was stationed in Rudloe (near Corsham)until recently and was fascinated by all the underground tunnels etc. Paul KendallI agree with Jon C - but just look at the Millenium Dome, now that was a good use of a few million pounds of tax payers money, could have updated this place and filled it with a few thousand council tennants!!
AndyTony Mays, just shows the attitude and aptitude of you, NORAD etc etc ring a bell, now where is that place, oh yes AMERICA. Jon CI have spend years investigating the Corsham Ammunition Depots and I have been in most of them!
KatherineThis place looks like the most miserable depressing place to live in the whole world. ChrisWhat a wonderful facility this would be if preserved, as it is I expect the usual "Travelling" people will gain entry and gut it, and what cannot be stolen will be destroyed. This should be preserved for the public, after all we paid for it ! Chris PeacockLooking at these pictures I feel they spent an awful lot of money for a place with no windows?! Chris HarwoodBurlington doesn't have a "raunch house" style entrance as the Regional Government bunker in Fife as well as many other bunkers around the UK such as Kelvedon Hatch, these bunkers were all built to a similar design however Burlington wasn't built, they just converted the existing stone quarry area, the entrance are old stone quarry shafts.
Ray BrittonThere is already another bunker open to the public, and unsurprisingly is called "the secret bunker", I think its in the north or Scotland. JonFor those unaware of the name Burlington, the bunker was at various times also known as Stockwell and Turnstile. Chris HarwoodThe Breathing Apparatus Steve describes is a legal requirement, they must be warn in all underground quarries and mines.


JulieI was brought up and live about 5 miles from this site, there was always rumours at school about an underground town where royalty and pm's etc would go in the case of a nuclear attack. Andrew WilliamsIt would be a great shame if this facility could not be opened up as a tourist attraction.
John HatfieldI was in the UK with the USAF for many years I have heard of the place but never follow thru. Mark It would be interesting to see the Burlington site map overlaid onto the surface map - we would then have a real impression of the size! Also, given that this site is no longer in use, can we assume that there is another site for "Tony & Cherie" to slip into should Al Quada detonate a dirty bomb? Geoff ParselleFor those interested there never was and certainly is not any "Rose and Crown" pub or any pub down there of any kind. Swindon MarkSurley there has to be some national heritage to protect this place, considering the importance of it during the cold war, its an outstanding peice of modern history. Steve HigginsAs Bob said in a previous comment Burlington is a massive part of British history, unfortunatly it is being sold off to a private investor who will no doubt gut it and destory all of the sites characteristics and history. Jon KnightThe original Corsham Ammo Depot (CAD) had cost ?4.5M by 1943 in order to store 300,000 tons of explosives. Mike KennerI'd just like to point out that recently declassified Government files have revealed that during the years 1961-1965, Areas 10 and 13 of BURLINGTON were not just offices.
The following are things that are not obvious (I tried to skip the obvious) that you might have missed when you watched Top Secret!. Martin the manager is reading The Daily Oppressor with headline: "Die Festalatin culturen eine big dealen". There is a sign on the side of the German checkpoint as it rolls away that says: "Kistoms Vagon". The letter that has to be in New York by Tuesday is a "Publisher Clearing House" sweepstake. The book that the General is reading is titled "Hermann Goering's Workout book" and has a picture of a full dressed German officer doing exercices.
Junk food from McDonald's on the floor including: a Big Mac, a Cheeseburger and an apple pie.
Deja-vu is packing a curler, Head & Shoulder, Pepto-Bismol, a blowdryer and a beaseball mit.
Seeing that plutonium has half life of 24 thousand years, then this bunker with 3 months survival tops and only 100ft down, and Corsham being on the nuclear hit list, warheads at the time were in the 20 megaton range. This should hopefully allay the fears of those who feel this great monumnt to the Cold War may be lost. And only recently found out my old mate Sadman Insane has been seen hanging about in Iraq.. Open it up and allow the public to view it - its part of our past history that everybody needs to be aware of! Probably it was just more practical to give the 'roads' descriptive and straight talking names.
I hope the bunker will be put to good use and some of it will remain open to the public as a museum to show what efforts were put into the preparations for disasters. I was in RAF in 1950 and spent 18 months at Fighter Command Radar at Box; There was RAF Rudloe Manior, RAF Hawthorn, RN Copenacre, HMS Royal Arthur (where Prince Philip was stationed) CAD Corsham (the Army's Central Ammunition Depot).
Rogers, PE, PhDA similar bunker existed at the Greenbrier Hotel,White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, USA. I bought a book (still available from Amazon)called Secret Underground Cities by N J McCamley, which will certainly be of interest to anyone who lives or lived in this great part of the country. It's kind of reassuring to see that in the event of a nuclear war the oligarchs that let us get bombed would be deprived of natural light and anything resembling comfort!
Anybody know anything about what the construction workers etc thought they were putting together ? We should be very aware of the events and the legacy of the cold war and it is an era of history being neglected simply because it is so recent.
There is plenty more info about the place in "The Secret State" by Peter Hennessy (ISBN 0-14-100835-0), along with information on the Nation's war planning during the height of the cold war. In addition to the entrances shown on the map, there was also another entrance near Box Hill tunnel, where a train from London could enter and offload passengers at an underground railway station. I don't know the Burlington name, but I was stationed for a short while at RAF Rudloe Manor (Hawthorn Centre). I know where some of the outlets come out but it would be great to see the scale of this above ground. It is very much a part of our history, and something that would surely draw a lot of genuine interest.
Due to the secrecy surrounding such places it is often many years if ever, before the stories surrounding them can be told.
They were the location of the NATO Civil Agencies protected wartime Headquarters - codename WELLBRIGHT.
Burlington started life as an underground Quarry for the local sandstone called known as Bath Stone.


She dealt with anything from bars of soap, spare masts for sailing ships through to very "hush hush" parts for more modern ships, subs etc.My father, Harold Comley, went from bing a sheeter employed bt the then "Min.
OK goiong down but a true test of fitness getting back up with a rifle and a pack full of kit on your back. Yes the government were paid a lot but the bunkers were constructed to allow the country to continue to function and not just to save the rich. We went in & out in lifts - had someone injured one day and had to saw handles off stretcher to get lift doors to close. This is very much like a site that was built in West Virginia in the US for much the same reason - continuation of government operations while under nuclear attack. The escalators, plant,comms etc must have raised some questions. I lived at Neston around 1966 and even as kids we heard stories about something underground around there. It would make a superb museum and would undoubtedly earn its keep, something it has never done so far!
One day a Sergeant asked me if I wanted to check some emergency phones (I was a serviceman in telecoms).
I think the public should be able to visit it, it would be really interesting for adults and kids in local schools as an education. So if there is any attack, i know where i'm headed!! I hope that it will be possible that a trust will be allowed to take over Burlington, and allow visits by the public. Places like this are as much a part of our history as any medieval castle is. The agencies concerned were the Nato Oil Executive Board and the Defence Shipping Executive Board.
The quarry, all underground, is a series of tunnels (or roads) with cells leading of theses roads (a bit like rooms off a coridor, or cells in a prison). Now we know about nuclear winters that last for years and they were indeed living in fantasy world)Museum sounds good idea,a tribute to a government folly that we paid for so that they would be safe and no one to govern above)Whoops! I think street names in the US are given names like '51st Street' Because lyrical names would be confusing, and theres just so many streets in a City like New York. The site in the US was also top secret, and its existance unknown to the general public until only recently.
Open enough of it to show what it was like and to house a national cold war exhibition and rent out storage space in other parts on a commercial basis to generate funds. I do remember the door leaving our underground site, lead into the tunnel and there where railway lines. This modern fortification should be preserved for future generations to visit and help them to understand an important part of both British and World history. The siting of WELLBRIGHT at BURLINGTON caused no end of diplomatic problems for the UK Government, as many Government officials were opposed to locating 'foreigners' (NATO Civil Agency representatives) in the UK Central Government wartime Headquarters. The mined parts of the quarry proved ideal to be used as wartime bunkers (hence the vast majority of government areas). Burlington would have been used as the cold war bunker for 'essential persons' during a nuclear holocaust.
I did but whether they already knew about it I do not know.My grandmother, Elsie Comley, lived at Travellers Rest. Regional governments have a duty to function also, so I wonder just how many smaller satellite subterranean sites there are around the UK. US Citys don't have the history of citys like London, where most street names have a story attatched.
I entered the complex (my place of work) from the old RAF Rudloe Manor main site down a lift, which ever underground site that corresponds with on the map?.
The interesting thing was, no one and I mean no one was allowed into the tunnels without a BA (Breathing Apparatus)ready in case of fire. I am sure this wont be popular with the likes of the "peace protestors" who I'm sure would rather see it torn apart and forgotten about. When my father had to inspect certain disused tunnels annually he would thump the ceilings and we could hear him clearly !If anyone wants further info. There's another superb example of the period at Hack Green, near Nantwich in Cheshire, where the old communications bunker is now a fascinating museum.
We (all staff underground) had to have a small brass bar with a number stamped into it, to identify us if a fire swept through the complex. When we went along the tunnels, we had very powerful torches as I don't remember lights being on and it was June on a hot summers day, but it was very cold all the time down there. This fascinating period of history has much left to tell, and I for one would love to know more! I'd also love to have the chance to visit this place myself.
Underground training was given by RAF Firemen, prior to being let into the underground areas.
To most service people, it held no great mystery, it was a secure place of work, a communication complex out of the way of potential international attack (Cold War).Not at all exotic in reality.



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