The Secret Garden of England – Kent’s Hidden Doomsday Bunker

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When you think of Kent, you probably picture a picturesque corner of England, famous for pretty villages and beautiful scenery. In fact, Kent is nicknamed the garden of England – and with very good reason – a popular place for weddings, marquee hire Kent company provide marquee hire in Kent for such special occasions. But there is a more sinister secret in Kent, lurking just beneath the surface. A testament to the world’s shaky history, where the threat of nuclear annihilation was very real, if you look beneath the surface you will find the Kelvedon hatch secret nuclear bunker. Built originally for use as an RAF ROTOR station, the bunker took on a whole new life when the second world war ended, and nuclear weapons threatened life as we know it…

As you approach the bunker, the only thing that you can see above ground that hints at what lies below is the mast. There is an innocuous looking bungalow guarding the entrance to the bunker itself – to the innocent bystander it just looks like a rundown old house! The bunker itself is eighty feet deep and is built to house up to 600 people, who would have all been Government workers (perhaps even the Prime minister) and military personnel. As you head into the bunker, the thick metal blast door is a chilling reminder of the severity of the bunkers’ use. Upon closing the door, you travel down a 120-metre-long tunnel, which is reinforced against both the blast and the radiation generated by a nuclear bomb. It is a sobering thought that people who would have all left their families to the stuff of nightmares, would have had to come here to work and try to rebuild society from the ashes. Supplies in the bunker were enough to cover three months. By then, it was hoped that, conditions above would have settled enough to be able to leave and begin to rebuild the country.

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Although nowadays, nuclear war has been hitting the headlines again, with the events in North Korea, thankfully it is not seen as the threat it was during the dark days of the cold war – which means that the bunker itself was closed in 1992 as a Government base and was sold at auction. It is now a popular museum and a chilling reminder of how close the world came to Armageddon.

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