Rare Second World War bunker unearthed in Hampshire by sewage workers

Inside the bunker unearthed at Hamble Airfield

Inside the bunker unearthed at Hamble Airfield

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

IT is a reminder of the days when the south was in the front line of defending the country from the Nazis.

Thought to be one of just two in the country a rare Second World War bunker has been uncovered in Hampshire by sewage workers after being buried for half a century.

But after just a few days of it being unveiled, it has been covered up once more.

Contractors had been digging a new sewage route to pump wastewater between School Lane, Hamble and the Bursledon Wastewater Treatment Works, run by Southern Water, when they came across the red brick bunker with concrete roof.

Daily Echo:

Archaeologists from Archaeology South-East say the site at Hamble Airfield, off Hamble Lane, is an airfield battle headquarters and of both local and national significance.

They did not go inside because it’s thought to be unsafe, but they believe it had a messenger’s and runner’s room, a defence officer’s room, an observation room and toilet.

Neil Griffin, project manager for Archaeology South East, said: “We’ve come to believe that this is one of two in this country that have survived. These things would have been common on airfields across the country.

“We’ve fully recorded what we’ve found and taken photos of everything. “We know where it is and it has been plotted for future reference.”

But residents and history enthusiasts will not be able to see the bunker as Southern Water have covered it over.

Project manager, Jon Kenrick, said: “Unfortunately, we weren’t sure if the bunker was safe to enter so we couldn’t actually go inside but were able to stand at the doorway. “For safety reasons, the bunker was carefully covered over again once the archaeologists had got what they needed but it’s nice to know it has been left in-situ and plotted for future reference. It will hopefully provide content for some interesting local history lessons in years to come.”

Daily Echo:

Historian and director of Solent Sky Museum, Alan Jones, said: “It would have been incredibly important. There is so little left of that period.

“If the structure was reasonably sound it is a really important building to preserve. “I would like to see anything from that period preserved unless there is a very good reason for not doing so.

“It would be a tribute to those who used those bunkers in our darkest hour.”

Terry Smith, 69, a retired painter and decorator, has lived in Hamble Lane for 43 years. He said: “It was amazing to hear what they found and it was more exciting because we’ve only just found out that our son who’s now in his 40s used to play there. “He said he had to go in through the bushes. I’ve walked this airfield hundreds of times and never seen it. I couldn’t understand why they filled it back in.”

Comments (16)

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2:40pm Sat 12 Oct 13

City Final says...

Maybe they filled it in again - hid it - because having a building of historical and archaeological significance on the site might just prove a reason to prevent gravel extraction in the area.
RAGE should go and find it an start restoring it to it's former glory pretty quickly
Maybe they filled it in again - hid it - because having a building of historical and archaeological significance on the site might just prove a reason to prevent gravel extraction in the area. RAGE should go and find it an start restoring it to it's former glory pretty quickly City Final
  • Score: 10

7:43pm Sat 12 Oct 13

SOULJACKER says...

Hahaha, didn't go inside & covered it over again, you Dumbass........only in health & safety conscious Britain.
Maybe they would like me to do them a risk assessment & method statement.
We really have lost our marbles & our bottle in this country.
Pathetic builders as usual!
Hahaha, didn't go inside & covered it over again, you Dumbass........only in health & safety conscious Britain. Maybe they would like me to do them a risk assessment & method statement. We really have lost our marbles & our bottle in this country. Pathetic builders as usual! SOULJACKER
  • Score: 7

11:35pm Sat 12 Oct 13

bbirty says...

SOULJACKER wrote:
Hahaha, didn't go inside & covered it over again, you Dumbass........only in health & safety conscious Britain.
Maybe they would like me to do them a risk assessment & method statement.
We really have lost our marbles & our bottle in this country.
Pathetic builders as usual!
It's the pen pushing bureaucrats that make up the health and safety laws that the "pathetic" builders have to follow!
Although feel free to go investigate the bunker yourself if it means that much to you. You should be ok, it looks safe enough...
[quote][p][bold]SOULJACKER[/bold] wrote: Hahaha, didn't go inside & covered it over again, you Dumbass........only in health & safety conscious Britain. Maybe they would like me to do them a risk assessment & method statement. We really have lost our marbles & our bottle in this country. Pathetic builders as usual![/p][/quote]It's the pen pushing bureaucrats that make up the health and safety laws that the "pathetic" builders have to follow! Although feel free to go investigate the bunker yourself if it means that much to you. You should be ok, it looks safe enough... bbirty
  • Score: 7

1:09am Sun 13 Oct 13

stay local says...

Is that a picture of the unsafe bunker, that no one would enter,
as it is going to fall down any second,under their feet as they stand on it. The one that was designed to withstand bomb damage?
Is that a picture of the unsafe bunker, that no one would enter, as it is going to fall down any second,under their feet as they stand on it. The one that was designed to withstand bomb damage? stay local
  • Score: 10

9:44am Sun 13 Oct 13

egghead65 says...

if they went in to the bunker they might of found the bodys of the poor f ckers that got trapped down there during the war
if they went in to the bunker they might of found the bodys of the poor f ckers that got trapped down there during the war egghead65
  • Score: -8

10:04am Sun 13 Oct 13

bbirty says...

@ stay local
Well seeing as you are the expert maybe you can answer your own question.
I should maybe point out that my initial response was to the "pathetic builders" comment but as you waded in i'll help educate you.
http://www.cement.or
g/tech/cct_durabilit
y.asp
@ stay local Well seeing as you are the expert maybe you can answer your own question. I should maybe point out that my initial response was to the "pathetic builders" comment but as you waded in i'll help educate you. http://www.cement.or g/tech/cct_durabilit y.asp bbirty
  • Score: 2

12:58pm Sun 13 Oct 13

southy says...

stay local wrote:
Is that a picture of the unsafe bunker, that no one would enter,
as it is going to fall down any second,under their feet as they stand on it. The one that was designed to withstand bomb damage?
Stay Local
I know you don't know much about construction, I will try and be brief,
first off all when the bunker was built, was it built in a hollow with high banks surrounding the building, like many where a rush job on the out-break of war. then the damp course would be about 2 bricks above the ground, and filling it in after use would off made the molter and bricks very soft though being made damp and would be crumbly, this would of made it very unsafe to enter. the design was such so the high banks would divert the bomb blast away from the building, a bomb drop close by would of done damage, a direct hit (with in the confines of the high banks) would of wipe the building out
[quote][p][bold]stay local[/bold] wrote: Is that a picture of the unsafe bunker, that no one would enter, as it is going to fall down any second,under their feet as they stand on it. The one that was designed to withstand bomb damage?[/p][/quote]Stay Local I know you don't know much about construction, I will try and be brief, first off all when the bunker was built, was it built in a hollow with high banks surrounding the building, like many where a rush job on the out-break of war. then the damp course would be about 2 bricks above the ground, and filling it in after use would off made the molter and bricks very soft though being made damp and would be crumbly, this would of made it very unsafe to enter. the design was such so the high banks would divert the bomb blast away from the building, a bomb drop close by would of done damage, a direct hit (with in the confines of the high banks) would of wipe the building out southy
  • Score: 4

2:39pm Sun 13 Oct 13

Inform Al says...

Seems a shame that this historical structure was covered over, suspect the water company is not British as a British company would have given its eye teeth to open it up to all to see.
Seems a shame that this historical structure was covered over, suspect the water company is not British as a British company would have given its eye teeth to open it up to all to see. Inform Al
  • Score: -3

3:12pm Sun 13 Oct 13

Someone_New says...

Inform Al wrote:
Seems a shame that this historical structure was covered over, suspect the water company is not British as a British company would have given its eye teeth to open it up to all to see.
Says in the article the company is Southern Water. They seem to be British and are based in the UK.
[quote][p][bold]Inform Al[/bold] wrote: Seems a shame that this historical structure was covered over, suspect the water company is not British as a British company would have given its eye teeth to open it up to all to see.[/p][/quote]Says in the article the company is Southern Water. They seem to be British and are based in the UK. Someone_New
  • Score: 4

3:22pm Sun 13 Oct 13

SOULJACKER says...

bbirty wrote:
SOULJACKER wrote:
Hahaha, didn't go inside & covered it over again, you Dumbass........only in health & safety conscious Britain.
Maybe they would like me to do them a risk assessment & method statement.
We really have lost our marbles & our bottle in this country.
Pathetic builders as usual!
It's the pen pushing bureaucrats that make up the health and safety laws that the "pathetic" builders have to follow!
Although feel free to go investigate the bunker yourself if it means that much to you. You should be ok, it looks safe enough...
Pound to a penny they cover it over now & then dig it up again on 'day works' rate, most of the builders & installers I use usually try that one.
[quote][p][bold]bbirty[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SOULJACKER[/bold] wrote: Hahaha, didn't go inside & covered it over again, you Dumbass........only in health & safety conscious Britain. Maybe they would like me to do them a risk assessment & method statement. We really have lost our marbles & our bottle in this country. Pathetic builders as usual![/p][/quote]It's the pen pushing bureaucrats that make up the health and safety laws that the "pathetic" builders have to follow! Although feel free to go investigate the bunker yourself if it means that much to you. You should be ok, it looks safe enough...[/p][/quote]Pound to a penny they cover it over now & then dig it up again on 'day works' rate, most of the builders & installers I use usually try that one. SOULJACKER
  • Score: -4

4:37pm Sun 13 Oct 13

Sausage_Surprise says...

We can't enter this bunker because its unsafe and not structurally sound.......Let's stand on the roof!!!!
We can't enter this bunker because its unsafe and not structurally sound.......Let's stand on the roof!!!! Sausage_Surprise
  • Score: 3

4:39pm Sun 13 Oct 13

Inform Al says...

Someone_New wrote:
Inform Al wrote:
Seems a shame that this historical structure was covered over, suspect the water company is not British as a British company would have given its eye teeth to open it up to all to see.
Says in the article the company is Southern Water. They seem to be British and are based in the UK.
Seem to remember it was bought by a French company, don't know who owns it now.
[quote][p][bold]Someone_New[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Inform Al[/bold] wrote: Seems a shame that this historical structure was covered over, suspect the water company is not British as a British company would have given its eye teeth to open it up to all to see.[/p][/quote]Says in the article the company is Southern Water. They seem to be British and are based in the UK.[/p][/quote]Seem to remember it was bought by a French company, don't know who owns it now. Inform Al
  • Score: -2

6:13pm Sun 13 Oct 13

bbirty says...

SOULJACKER wrote:
bbirty wrote:
SOULJACKER wrote:
Hahaha, didn't go inside & covered it over again, you Dumbass........only in health & safety conscious Britain.
Maybe they would like me to do them a risk assessment & method statement.
We really have lost our marbles & our bottle in this country.
Pathetic builders as usual!
It's the pen pushing bureaucrats that make up the health and safety laws that the "pathetic" builders have to follow!
Although feel free to go investigate the bunker yourself if it means that much to you. You should be ok, it looks safe enough...
Pound to a penny they cover it over now & then dig it up again on 'day works' rate, most of the builders & installers I use usually try that one.
It's one word... Daywork. It's effectively an hourly rate much like a huge portion of the uk workforce.
[quote][p][bold]SOULJACKER[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bbirty[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SOULJACKER[/bold] wrote: Hahaha, didn't go inside & covered it over again, you Dumbass........only in health & safety conscious Britain. Maybe they would like me to do them a risk assessment & method statement. We really have lost our marbles & our bottle in this country. Pathetic builders as usual![/p][/quote]It's the pen pushing bureaucrats that make up the health and safety laws that the "pathetic" builders have to follow! Although feel free to go investigate the bunker yourself if it means that much to you. You should be ok, it looks safe enough...[/p][/quote]Pound to a penny they cover it over now & then dig it up again on 'day works' rate, most of the builders & installers I use usually try that one.[/p][/quote]It's one word... Daywork. It's effectively an hourly rate much like a huge portion of the uk workforce. bbirty
  • Score: 2

6:37pm Sun 13 Oct 13

sydneyfarm says...

Persimmon wouldnt want anything like this preserved incase it became an attraction for visitors, this would hinder their gravel and building plans.
It should be made safe and opened up to the public.
Persimmon wouldnt want anything like this preserved incase it became an attraction for visitors, this would hinder their gravel and building plans. It should be made safe and opened up to the public. sydneyfarm
  • Score: 2

4:52am Mon 14 Oct 13

stay local says...

southy wrote:
stay local wrote:
Is that a picture of the unsafe bunker, that no one would enter,
as it is going to fall down any second,under their feet as they stand on it. The one that was designed to withstand bomb damage?
Stay Local
I know you don't know much about construction, I will try and be brief,
first off all when the bunker was built, was it built in a hollow with high banks surrounding the building, like many where a rush job on the out-break of war. then the damp course would be about 2 bricks above the ground, and filling it in after use would off made the molter and bricks very soft though being made damp and would be crumbly, this would of made it very unsafe to enter. the design was such so the high banks would divert the bomb blast away from the building, a bomb drop close by would of done damage, a direct hit (with in the confines of the high banks) would of wipe the building out
Sadly yet predictably you show your self to once again be a complete idiot! From your description you suggest the bunker was above ground but in a hollow with banks around it. Wrong! Just look at the picture showing the staircase descending down below ground level.

Secondly remember those of us who spent time at the airfield such as my self would be able to tell you there where no structures buried under hills. it was an aerodrome and needed flat areas. Therefore any idea about a damp course being breached is complete piffle.

So to get back to the main idea, the underground bunker that was recently unearthed was so unsafe people could not enter in case it fell down, was safe enough to have four people standing on top of it.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stay local[/bold] wrote: Is that a picture of the unsafe bunker, that no one would enter, as it is going to fall down any second,under their feet as they stand on it. The one that was designed to withstand bomb damage?[/p][/quote]Stay Local I know you don't know much about construction, I will try and be brief, first off all when the bunker was built, was it built in a hollow with high banks surrounding the building, like many where a rush job on the out-break of war. then the damp course would be about 2 bricks above the ground, and filling it in after use would off made the molter and bricks very soft though being made damp and would be crumbly, this would of made it very unsafe to enter. the design was such so the high banks would divert the bomb blast away from the building, a bomb drop close by would of done damage, a direct hit (with in the confines of the high banks) would of wipe the building out[/p][/quote]Sadly yet predictably you show your self to once again be a complete idiot! From your description you suggest the bunker was above ground but in a hollow with banks around it. Wrong! Just look at the picture showing the staircase descending down below ground level. Secondly remember those of us who spent time at the airfield such as my self would be able to tell you there where no structures buried under hills. it was an aerodrome and needed flat areas. Therefore any idea about a damp course being breached is complete piffle. So to get back to the main idea, the underground bunker that was recently unearthed was so unsafe people could not enter in case it fell down, was safe enough to have four people standing on top of it. stay local
  • Score: 0

4:41pm Sun 20 Oct 13

Kaz1964 says...

This is not the only place like this that is buried. During the building of the last part of the M27, as it went through West End, a place that we, as kids, used to call "The Barracks* was buried by the dirt from the motorway building, to made a "bund". I can only remember that a lot of it was underground...as we were kids we were too scared to venture down there, and nver had torches on us. So no idea what was down there.
This is not the only place like this that is buried. During the building of the last part of the M27, as it went through West End, a place that we, as kids, used to call "The Barracks* was buried by the dirt from the motorway building, to made a "bund". I can only remember that a lot of it was underground...as we were kids we were too scared to venture down there, and nver had torches on us. So no idea what was down there. Kaz1964
  • Score: 2

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