Cold War bunker sold and to be renovated so Kids Can Study in Peace



An unused Cold War bunker in the heart of Essex has been bought by a father for £20,000 so that his children have somewhere to go to study in peace and quiet.

The bunker is located in Chigwell in Essex just east of London. It was put up for auction and Raymond Sturgess who lives in the area spotted it.

The bunker is around 12 feet underground and measures around 13 feet by nine feet. It was originally situated within a local army base, but the land had been sold off and the bunker now sits within Chigwell nature reserve.

The Sturgess family lives just a few minutes’ walk away from the bunker and Raymond says it was a once in a lifetime opportunity that he wanted to take. Not only does Raymond intend to let his children use it, he also hopes it will be the ideal place to host parties at.

Raymond says he has four children between the ages of seven and 16 and are constantly distracted when they are trying to study in the house. So the bunker seemed like the ideal solution to ensure all of his children have somewhere quiet to study and revise for their exams.

Raymond says that the location is also ideal. The bunker is in the middle of the Chigwell countryside, surrounded by fields and open spaces.

The bunker was originally constructed in the 1950s when the West and Soviet Union came to a post-World War Two détente. The bunker was one of 1,500 Cold War monitoring stations built to keep an eye on the Soviets. The network of stations and bunkers were finally decommissioned in the early 1980s.

Raymond purchased the bunker this month as a freehold. He hopes to re-plaster the entire inside of the bunker and install an electric generator so that they can have lights and heating.

The bunker’s external fencing also needs replacing which at the moment is just barbed wire.

Two of Raymond’s children, Lauren and Brendan are already studying for their GCSEs, so he doesn’t think he’ll have it ready for them. But says it will definitely be fit for purpose for his youngest two children, and can be used by Lauren and Brendan if they decide to go on to further studies, the Mail Online reports.

The auctioneer who sold the bunker says that he thought it would generate a lot of interest because of its history and unique structure. He also added that he was pleased it was sold to someone who wasn’t going to demolish it and keep it as part of Britain’s cultural heritage.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE