Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

Useful Information

Location: At Kelvedon Hatch. A128 south of Marden Ash, halfway between Pilgrims Hatch and Chipping Ongar.
(51.672421, 0.255679)
Open: MAR-OCT Mon-Fri 10-16, Sat, Sun, Hol 10-17, tours on the hour. NOV-FEB Thu-Sun 10-16. [2004]
Fee: Adults GBP 5, Children (5-16) GBP 3, Family (2+2) GBP 12. Groups (15+): 10% discount. [2004]
Classification: SubterraneaSecret Bunkers atomic bunker (cold war remnant)
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: selfguided with handset.
Address: Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, Crown Buildings, Kelvedon Hall Lane, Brentwood CM14 5TL, Essex. Tel: +44-1277-364-883. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1952 simple bungalow built by the Air Ministry.
1992 decommissioned and bought back from the government by the Parrish family.


Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker, Great Britain. Public Domain.

The Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker is one of those secret bunkers, located under an inconspicuous looking bungalow. The bunker is protected by 3 m reinforced concrete and blast doors made from tank metal. The bunker had four different usages during his history:

  1. an RAF ROTOR Station for the defence radar system.
  2. a civil defence centre.
  3. a Regional Government HQ to run the region in the event of nuclear attack.
  4. a tourist attraction.

Like many other bunkers it was abandoned after the Cold War and turned into a tourist attraction. A funny story is the change in owners: The land to build the bunker was requisitioned from the local farmer J. A. Parrish. But when it was decommissioned, it was bought back from the government by the Parrish family, at a closed bid public auction. So they got their land back and are now owners of a nuclear bunker.

The bunker is accessed through a simple bungalow, originally built in 1952 by the Air Ministry. From this "harmless" building a 120 m long tunnel leads into the main bunker. This is the lowest of three levels, at 25 m depth, containing communication and plant equipment. The second level is the government level. The top level contains a small surgery, several washrooms, dormitories, and a large canteen.