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£50k to spare? Why not treat yourself to this secret Cold War underground bunker in Cornwall?

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 14, 2014

  • the outside of the nuclear bunker at Coswarth, Newquay, Cornwall which is to go under the hammer.

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A secret underground emergency bunker built to protect essential services in the event of a nuclear war is to go under the hammer.

The bunker was constructed in 1978 in Coswarth, Newquay, Cornwall during the Cold War so experts at the then South West Water Authority could maintain water and sewerage operations after a nuclear holocaust.

The 3,000 sq ft bunker was designed for 16 people – seven in the operations room, six in the communications room and three in the control room.

The rooms are deep underground and the bunker is on the market with a £50,000 guide price.

Other features include several blast-proof doors, an air lock, decontamination room, dining room, recreation room and two dormitories.

Brian Blake, South West Water’s asset performance manager, worked for the authority at the time and remembers the bunker.

“I remember that the Government said we had to provide an underground control centre in case of emergency which was bomb and nuclear proof,” he said.

“It wasn’t fully kitted out as there was no furniture in there, but if something had happened you could have lived in there for weeks.”

Chris Shapland, South West Water's property manager, added: “We regularly auction redundant assets to reduce our costs and keep customers’ bills as low as possible, but this is the first time we’ve offered a genuine piece of Cold War history.

“Novelty sites with small areas of surplus land always attract strong interest as people are able to invest relatively modest sums for their ‘little bit of England’.

“Several of our former storage reservoirs and pumping stations have been converted by their new owners into unusual homes. It will be interesting to see what happens to the bunker – you never know who could end up using it.”

The bunker and some adjacent land will be sold at auction on March 25.

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  • break  |  February 14 2014, 4:41PM

    I've got my eye on an old granary building in Enys Road,Camborne,built between 1801 and 1841,which,while a ruin,could be recoverable,I'm sure someone would buy it.Unfortunately some developers seem to want to demolish it so they can stick the entrance to their new estate on top of it (coincidence?)Suppose we should be thankful for the old buildings that we're allowed to keep.

  • dtreth  |  February 13 2014, 12:11PM

    "keep customers' bills as low as possible" - that's not the South West Water we know....

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