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Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, Essex, England

The Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch, in the Borough of Brentwood in the English county of Essex, is a large underground bunker maintained during the cold war as a potential regional government headquarters. Since being decommissioned in 1992, the bunker has been open to the public as a tourist attraction, with a museum focusing on its cold war history.The Kelvedon Hatch bunker was built in 1952–53 as part of ROTOR. ROTOR was a programme to improve and harden Britain’s air defence network. The bunker was a hardened ( three level ‘R4’) Sector Operations Center (SOC) for RAF Fighter Command. It was to provide command and control of the London Sector of Fighter Command. During the 1960s, 70s, 80s and early into the 1990s the UK government (Home Office) maintained the bunker as an [emergency] regional government defence site. Eventually in the early 1990s when nuclear threat was seen as diminished, the bunker was sold back to the family who had owned the land in the 1950s. It is now a Cold War museum and retains many of its original ROTOR and RSG/RGHQ features. The bunker is built 125 feet (38 m) underground and the entrance is through an ordinary looking ‘bungalow’ (a standard ROTOR ‘Guard House’) set amongst trees. The inside of the bungalow leads to a 100 yards (91 m) tunnel entering the R4 at its lowest floor (of three). Above are two more floors, the ‘hill’ which covers it, and a radio mast. The bunker was able to accommodate some hundreds of personnel (the numbers changing as function and form varied over the years) and could sustain them for up to three months. The bunker has air conditioning and heating (using the original ROTOR AC-Plant but replacing the original coolant with a more ‘modern’ type [c.1980s]), its own water supply (mains water and its own deep bore hole) and generators, and was equipped with many types of radio equipment, protected (EMP) telecommunications, teleprinter (MSX) networks and various military systems (MOULD and CONRAD etc.) etc.

Official Website : www.secretnuclearbunker.com

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