Burlington: Inside the 35 Acre Secret Underground Cold War City Built in the 1950s

Burlington, aka Cold War City, is a subterranean complex 120ft below ground located in Wiltshire, England, built in the 1950s to house Harold Macmillan’s cabinet and 4,000 civil servants in nuclear war the Soviet Union. There was also a BBC studio from which the prime minister could broadcast to what remained of the nation. The 100,000 lamps that lighted its streets and guided to a pub modeled after the Red Lion in Whitehall were powered by underground power stations.

The bunker was connected to the main London to Bristol line with a spur railway inside a tunnel. The route was intended as an escape route for the royal family in an attack. The bunker was supposed to be top secret until it was decommissioned in 2004. Inside, it is like stepping back in time 50 years. Many of the swivel chairs delivered in 1959 are still unpacked. There are also boxes of glass ashtrays, lavatory brushes, and civil service tea sets. The walls are pictures of the Queen, Princess Margaret, and Grace Kelly.

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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