Subterranea Britannica

Foxwarren Air Raid Shelter

Redhill Road, Cobham, Surrey
OS Grid Ref: TQ079603
Date of visit: 2000

[Source: Chris Rayner]

The air raid shelter at Foxwarren, or Silvermere, would have served one of the Vickers (Brooklands) dispersal depots sited nearby which were used for secret experimental work and known as the Foxwarren Experimental Department. Barnes Wallis, the inventor associated with the Dam Busters raid, would have worked here on the Upkeep bouncing bomb and a number of prototype planes including the Windsor bomber and the Vickers 432 “Tin Mossie” an alloy version of the Mosquito.

The Vickers Experimental Department was relocated here after the heavy bombing of Brooklands in early September 1940.

The shelter is H-shaped in plan with wide entrance steps, latrine recesses by the entrance for ventilation, reinforced concrete walls and a vertical escape shaft at the far end. It is cut and cover and has an earth banked roof giving it splinter protection. The quality of the timber board marking on the concrete is good indicating that the timber was new at the time it was used. Further into the shelter the walls are painted white but this appears to have been in more recent times

The recollections of a Fitter who worked with Barnes Wallis in one of the depots at Foxwarren are available at BBC History Peoples War.

[Source: Chris Rayner]

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