WWII Bomb Shelter Before, Hi-Tech Urban Farm Now

The WWII bomb shelter still houses beds . . . for very different occupants.

WWII Bomb Shelter to Hi-Tech Farm
Photo Credit: Growing Underground FB Page

The WWII bomb shelter, located 33 meters below bustling central London, used to be to to-go place for Londoners who want to sleep in safety; it offered beds during the Second World War.

The beds are still in this old WWII bomb shelter. However, 70 years after the war, these beds house very different occupants — various salads and herbs that are deliverable to one’s table in the city in just four hours after they are harvested.

The WWII bomb shelter has been converted into a state-of-the-art underground salads and herbs farm. These long tunnels underneath Clapham are fitted with layers of hydroponic beds that form “vertical farms” with a growing system that uses LED lights in place of the sun’s light. According to Zero Carbon Food, the company behind the operation of this underground farm inside the WWII bomb shelter, the farm uses no pesticides, requires less energy compared to a greenhouse and what’s more, plants planted here need 70% less water compared to those grown in open fields.

“The whole system runs automatically, with an environmental computer controlling the lighting, temperature, nutrients and air flow,” says Steve Dring, a co-founder of the company at work in the WWII bomb shelter.

Packing up the harvest from the hi-tech farm is also done in another part of the WWII bomb shelter after which the packed goods are then directly distributed to retailers, caterers and restaurants bearing the brand Growing Underground.

Photo Credit: Growing Underground
Photo Credit: Growing Underground

Well, this is one very creative way of putting a WWII bomb shelter into use — a place that would most likely continue to go abandoned as it had served its purpose in a war long over.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE