Report - Coulsdon Deep Shelter, February, 2016

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Sep 9, 2015
Coulsdon Deep Shelter has been an explore that @Palisade had wanted to do for a while. So seeing a report pop up in the forum rekindled her interest and provided a perfect opportunity to test out our new camera. On Friday morning palisade found a map showing the potential entrances, we then located the area of the shelter on an OS map and we were ready to go… just a dull day at work to get through first. Which was made easier by picking some music for the car journey up, I would recommend Gentle Mystics to anyone. Jump Jump. Mushroom Mushroom.

So a bit of history, which has been mentioned many times before. The shelter was constructed as civil defence deep public air raid shelter, in 1941 on land rented from by Cane Hill Mental Hospital for the princely sum of £1 per month. The shelter was underused as bombing in the area was not to the level expected, and many locals had their own shelters. This led to it being taken over by the Canadian Military for storage during the later stages of the war.

After the war it laid empty for a few years until it was taken over in the 50s by Cox, Hargreaves and Thomson Ltd (catchy name), who manufactured optical instruments there for over a decade. After this is was possibly as a garage, and definitely as an informal dump. The dumping activity then led to it being sealed up. More detail can be found here:

In the 1990s there was an attempt to have the tunnels listed for “its special architectural or historic interest” but the shelter did not meet the required criteria and the request was denied. The report compiled for this decision gives some information on the original uses of different parts of the tunnel: “for example the east gallery (north) was the canteen, the east gallery (south) housed lavatories and the north bay of the central gallery housed the Warden’s office.”

More recently the tunnels have been used by some to, quite literally, have an underground rave. Hence the rather striking set of pink speakers. Also by looking at the number of laughing gas canisters everywhere, it was quite the shindig.

Back to the explore, after an uneventful drive we arrived, not entirely knowing where the entrance was. But after jumping over the fence and walking in the woods for a few minutes, trying not to make our torches too obvious, we spotted the entrance and headed straight in.

As mentioned earlier we have a new camera to test out, so here are the photos. Stupidly I also forgot the connector thing to plonk it on the tripod (apologies for the technical speak) so they are all handheld. Now the excuses are out the way… enjoy. Please note… No date stamps ;-)

















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I have a Fisheye problem
Regular User
Sep 21, 2014
Nicely done! Glad you enjoyed it, its a pretty cool place, but tricky to photograph well. You did well with just handheld.
Likes: oldiesDJ


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Sep 9, 2015
Nicely done! Glad you enjoyed it, its a pretty cool place, but tricky to photograph well. You did well with just handheld.

Thank you, much appreciated. Yeah it's an interesting place! Was worth the gamble of not being sure if we could get in


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Apr 23, 2016
Hello wilding could u help me locate how to get in tunnel bin up dere but couldn't find how 2 get in dere

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