Hidden Wartime Air Raid Shelter West of River Almond, Edinburgh

secret-air-raid-shelter-edinburgh (All images by Urban Ghosts; concealed entrance to wartime air raid shelter)

The other day, while out walking along a narrow country lane on the outskirts of Edinburgh, I was surprised to come upon a gap in the hedgerow which led – or so it seemed – into the darkness of an underground chamber. The foliage gave way to a narrow brick-lined entrance in the embankment, beyond which another door led into a small subterranean room.

Using the light from my mobile phone to penetrate the gloom, I was confronted with the unmistakable form of a wartime air raid shelter dug into the embankment. Cold brick benches lined the solid interior walls, above which the corrugated iron roof supported the weight of the earth above.

secret-air-raid-shelter-edinburgh-3 (The brick line structure is located near a farm west of the River Almond)

The air raid shelter, situated immediately outside an attractive farmhouse on the west side of the River Almond, was almost perfectly camouflaged by the trees and bushes flanking the lane. A Google search revealed another wartime shelter across the river on Cramond Road North, but there appeared to be no mention of this one.

It seemed logical that the mysterious defensive structure, if indeed that’s what it was, had been built for the farmhouse occupants, though surprising that it was accessed from the road and not the garden. Or perhaps it was intended for troops of the Home Guard to conceal themselves in before ambushing enemy soldiers advancing from the Firth of Forth, in the event of invasion.

secret-air-raid-shelter-edinburgh-2 (Beyond its hidden entrance, the abandoned wartime structure remains in good condition)

Of course, the UK is littered with abandoned air raid shelters, pillboxes and gun emplacements from World War Two that the sight of one is hardly rare, especially around major cities. In more peaceful times many have even found new use as gardens sheds or handy storage spaces for tools and lawnmowers.

Related – 10 Abandoned Gun Emplacements, Artillery Batteries & Flak Towers

 
 


 
 
 

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