Kelvedon Hatch: England’s Largest Cold War Bunker now Open to the Public

Cold War relics are simply a joy to explore. For me, it’s their proximity to recent history that makes them so fascinating; it wasn’t so long ago that they were very active and very serious in their role to protect our fair lands from the communist menace. Today, they are almost comical in the fear and paranoia so deeply imbued throughout.

Bunkers are some of my favorite Cold War relics. Not only are the located underground, but they represent the ultimate Cold War fear: nuclear annihilation.

With the Cold War over, governments around the globe have begun decommissioning a number of such bunkers. Some have simply “disappeared” while others have been purchased by civilians.

Recently, Sophie Campbell of The Telegraph, burrowed into Kelvedon Hatch–a three-story government bunker in Essex, England which was purchased in 1994 by a local farmer and has since been turned into a rather cool museum.The farmer purchased it nearly empty but has managed to find enough period gear to restock parts of the bunker to make it look like it did while in operation. He has also staffed the station with a number of mannequins manning radio receivers, hospital units, and even a Prime Minister’s quarters.

The whole bunker is set up to appear as though a nuclear bomb had just been dropped and museum visitors (paying £6.50 each) are the lucky few to have gained access to the government facility. The visitors are treated to fake news reports detailing the damage above ground and the impending doom in store for those left outside of the bunker’s ten-foot thick walls and 1½ ton blast doors.

It sounds pretty cool to me, but wouldn’t it be a whole lot more realistic if they hired a bunch of nuclear mutated ghouls to attack visitors in the bunker and eat their flesh? I certainly think so.