Site Records


Site Name: Bristol Waterworks Emergency Control Centre

ST666483
Limekiln Lane
Nettlebridge

RSG site visit 22 September 1999

[Source: Nick Catford]

In 1989 Bristol Waterworks commissioned an emergency underground control centre which was to be built inside a covered reservoir at a disused Victorian waterworks at Nettlebridge, between Radstock and Shepton Mallet in Somerset. Following the end of the cold war, work on the control centre was abandoned before the bunker could be fully fitted out and equipped.

Photo: The entrance
Photo: The entrance
Photo by Nick Catford

The conversion of reservoir into a blast proof control centre was undertaken without removing the top of the reservoir. A new entrance was cut into the side of the mound and fitted with a heavy steel and concrete blast door. This opened directly into a decontamination room with a shower and overpressure valve in the wall alongside; beyond two gas tight doors form an airlock. This opened on to the main spine corridor with rooms of both sides. Immediately to the left is the ventilation and filtration plant room with the plant complete and unused.

The kitchen has been fitted with a sink and floor standing units and a food preparation top but no appliances installed, male and female toilets are also devoid of any fittings other than a sink. It is impossible to tell what many of the rooms were intended to be used for as most are completely empty with bare unpainted walls and unpainted woodwork. One room is lined with wide shelves around three walls but it is also possible these could be bunks. At the far end of the spine corridor a short section of corridor leads to the emergency exit which consists of a short ladder fixed to the wall up to a platform and a small steel and concrete blast door high in the wall.

Photo: The decontamination room
Photo: The decontamination room
Photo by Nick Catford

Externally there is no evidence of what lies below ground with only a grass covered mound and the disused Victorian pump house visible.

In September 1999 the site was offered for sale by public auction and sold to a company that converted the 'bunker' into a recording and rehearsal studio. The site was once again offered for sale in 2003 at £200,000.

Those taking part in the visit were Nick Catford , Keith Ward , and Nick McCamley.

[Source: Nick Catford]

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Last updated 23rd August 2003

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