cane hill bunker | dispelling the myths

We reached a crossing in the tunnel and took the right spur (which I'll call the first lateral tunnel). A collection of road work lamps lay scattered around the floor - probably from an impromptu under-age gut-rot cider drinking party.

This was originally Deep Shelter Number Four, designed and built by Surrey Highways and Bridges Council Department in response to, or in anticipation of, the bombing raids of the Second World War. As a council department was responsible, then itís very unlikely that the shelter was originally connected with Cane Hill Hospital in any way.

This also disputes the rumour that the tunnels were built as mortuary space for the hospital. It makes for great ghost tales, but as Iíd seen, the hospital had excellent mortuary provisions (including its chiller for about fifteen bodies) so itís unlikely that they needed more space. Furthermore these tunnels were just too far from the main hospital to be of any practical use - as an experiment, try getting a body from the hospital down into these tunnels. It wouldnít be easy, and itíd be a long, roundabout trip. (Not that I've tried - honest).

The plans for Deep Shelter Number Four (found in the project section) are very interesting - they show an much expanded design (similar to the Epson Shelter). As it was, only part of the tunnels were dug.

The optical factory literature states that this tunnel at 235 feet long was used for testing the lenses.