Underground cities seem something of a fantasy and like something we would read about in a Jules Verne novel,
But are they ?
Ancient underground cities have been found all over the world such as Derinkuyu in Cappadocia Turkey, Dixia Cheng in Beijing, Shin-Au-Av beneath Death Valley in California, and possibly one inside Mt. Tsurugi in Japan. During the second world war the German's made use of Poland's Salt Mines in Wieliczka near Krakow for labatories and research.
More recently Amsterdam and Helsinki have both embarked on building underground cities due to lack of room above, and Canada has built a large underground shopping mall in Montreal called 'Reso' or 'La Ville Souterraine.
But the UK has had one for many years!
Burlington is a 35 acre subterranean cold war city that lies over a 100 feet beneath Corsham in Wiltshire.
I first heard about this place in around 1978. a fellow work colleague told me about his antics in the Army during his National Service. Of course even he did not know the name of it nor its exact location, those details were on a 'Need to know' basis. He had been assigned to drive a lorry, one of several in an Army convoy, each full to the brim with tins of Corned Beef, over the course of a week this convoy continually travelled back and forth from London, each time unloading their cargo into what he described as being "Inside a Mountain".
His story intrigued me, he thought it was somewhere around Salisbury but endless scouring of maps revealed nothing, and it was many years later (30+ years later) that the pieces of the puzzle started to come together and associate it with the Burlington Bunker.
Although not that visible from the air, Burlington was a secret underground city which would house 4000 government ministers and civil servants, the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office, local & national government agencies, military intelligence, security advisors, medical and domestic support staff, (possibly Royals) in the event of a Nuclear threat. It included its own internal rail system and station that joined the mainline railway at Box Tunnel, that would enabling a train direct from London to enter.
The underground city or 'Base' not far from RAF Rudloe Manor was completed in 1961 and had its own water resevoir, power source, air filtration, hospital, workshops, communications centre, BBC studio, and included accommodation for the Prime Minister.
The bunker was decomissioned in 1991 and declassified in 2004
The Burlington Bunker is the country's largest (known) underground shelter, made from a stone mine, it was developed to be used in the case of a Nuclear attack on Britain, and was designed to act as a control centre for Parliament and safe haven for the Royal Family and Prime Minister. It was fully self-contained with its own air filtration, power generation and water treatment plant.
It had it's own Bakery, Laundry, Hospital, and accommodation alongside the offices and communications control centres that would have kept the country running post nuclear attack. The area has over 60 miles of underground roadway.
A large section of this has now been officially declassified and was put up for sale, although not all of the areas are shown in the photographs and the news reports state only 10 miles of roadway were being offered for sale. This still leaves a substantial amount unexplained and off limits. What really lies in the remainder we still do not know for certain, we do know the adjacent quarry section had railway access from Box Tunnel and was used to transport munitions for storage, and it had been mentioned that there is a underground railway station within the Burlington complex, so trains carrying the Prime Minister and possibly the Royal Family could be brought directly from London and straight into the bunker. It even has its own underground pub, and according to maps its own water treatment plant and resevoir.. none of these are shown in the available videos or photographs, some of which are attached below.
The locals only know it as the Corsham Computer Centre (CCC), but its real name is the Command and Control Centre. Its real purpose? Well thats on a need to know basis, but it is believed to be part of the SMC2 program, the Submarine Command & Control and linked to the UK's Trident Nuclear Deterent program.
See the seperate section about the Criggion Communications Base, one of its predecessors, to understand what it might do.