Drakelow Tunnels


Useful Information

Location: Beneath the Kingsford Country Park, north of Kidderminster, Worcestershire
Open: Only during the frequent events.
[2012]
Fee: Depends on the event.
[2012]
Classification:  Underground Factory
Light: electric.
Dimension:  
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: Paul Stokes (): Drakelow Unearthed, ISBN 0 904015 76 9
Address: Drakelow Tunnels, 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.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:55:08 $

History

 
1941begin of construction.
MAY-1943achieved full production.
1945shut down with the end of the war.
1955used as a transit store for redundant plant.
1958used as a secret bunker for the Regional Seat of Government.
1980srefurbished as Regional Government Headquarters.
1993sold off after the end of the Cold War.

Description

Drakelow is a maze of tunnels, constructed during World War II as an underground factory. The sandstone hills near Kidderminster offered ideal prerequisites for the construction of vast tunnels, as the rock is very stable and soft enough to make the digging easier. The result was a system of tunnels, some 15 or 20 parallel tunnels running almost north to south which are connected by half a dozen tunnels crossing them rectangular. The four main tunnels in the center were used for transportation. The side tunnels were used as workshops.

When the factory was started, the cost were estimate a quarter million Pound, and it should take a year to complete. But the need was urgent and the was little time for planning, as a result the final cost were more than a million Pound and it took more than a year. But finally the underground factory started to produce in 1943. The factory was operated by Rover, who produced engines for the Bristol aircraft Company. With the end of the War it became obsolete and was abandoned. It was then used as a storehouse for some time.

During the Cold War the system was reactivated. The tunnels were renovated in 1958 and infrastructure installen. In the early 1960s it became the emergency bunker of the Regional Seat of Government for Defence region 9 (RSG9). The bunker was suitable to accomodate 350 people. During the 1960s and 1970s the bunker war renovated and refurbished several times.

In the eraly 1980s it became the bunker of the Regional Government Headquarters (RGHQ92), a renovation by the Home Office which cost two million Pounds. Among the installed infrastructure was a complete TV studio of the BBC, which would be able to send important informations to the public, even if the regular infrastructure was destroyed.


See also


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