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Details about  Royal Observer Corp Cold War Nuclear bunker monitoring post

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Royal Observer Corp Cold War Nuclear bunker monitoring post
Item Ended
Item condition:
--not specified
10 Sep, 2012 22:16:55 BST
Winning bid:
24 bids ]
May not post to United States - Read item description or contact seller for postage options. | See details
Item location:
DEVON, United Kingdom

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Last updated on  09 Sep, 2012 15:34:48 BST  View all revisions

Item specifics

Sort By: For Sale Building Feature: Detached
Private / Estate agent: Private Number Of Bedrooms: 1 Bedroom
Radius: Location Only Plot Area (m²): 500
Property Type: Bunker Property Content (m³): 20

Barton Down ROC Nuclear Bunker

What is it? 




Since its inception in 1925 as in integral part of the UK air defence system, the primary role of the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) was the recognition and identification of hostile aircraft. With the start of the cold war and the increasing threat of nuclear attack in the 1950's, the ROC was given the added responsibility of reporting nuclear bursts and monitoring fall-out which necessitated the construction of 1563 underground monitoring posts throughout Great Britain & Northern Ireland. In 1991 it was decided by the Home Office & MOD that the ROC would cease active training and the remaining underground posts were closed at the end of September that year. Most of the posts closed in 1968 reverted back to the original landowners while those closed in 1992 were put out to public tender. This post closed in 1991.


What are you buying and what is included?


This is a rare opportunity to not only buy a piece of Cold War history but also an interesting freehold property. The property does not have a housing category and is not liable for council tax. You can legally stay in the bunker for up to 28 days per year but this is not tracked in any way. You are buying a 20 x 25 metre plot of freehold woodland just within the Dartmoor national park that contains a small nuclear monitoring station bunker. The plot is surrounded by Forestry Commission owned and managed woodland at the top of a hill. There are access rights in the deeds via a bridle path that is wide enough to drive a car along. There is also permission in the deeds place for the installation of mains utilities, however I have not had a quote for this process. The bunker did originally have a BT phone line but this is no longer in place. There is mobile phone reception outside of the bunker in the wood. The bunker is at an altitude of 240 metres which puts it well above any potential flood risks and it is in a geographically stable area.

 The bunker is ‘off grid’ presently with a battery powered 12v system in place. The sale includes a 80w mono-crystalline solar panel that can be deployed from the bunker shaft on arrival and connected to the 12v power system via a charge regulator. This will allow you to keep your main battery topped up during your stay. We have found that you can get FM radio reception inside the bunker if the aerial is touching the blast power indicator tube.

 Since owning the bunker we have fitted a new bunker hatch and frame as the original had been damaged when the previous owner opened the bunker after a period of years but had not accounted for the internal bunker hatch latch system. We have fitted a 12v LED light system with 2 dome lighting units in the main room (can be operated independently to save power) and one in the toilet area. The shaft also features LED strip lights that can be activated with a string on arrival before entering the bunker via the hatch. The strip lights are powered from an additional 12v 7Ah battery that lives in the bunker and is used to power a timed air circulation system. The timed air system ensures the air in the bunker is changed at least once per day which helps maintain a dry fresh environment. The timer can be set for any number of periods within a 7 day cycle. The 7Ah battery charges from a 5 Watt solar panel that is bonded to the external bunker vent.


The GZI Indicator tube is 4” in diameter and could be used as a chimney with a small wood burner which would make the bunker very cosy.This should be done correctly and as ever (health and safety) a carbon monoxide alarm would be well advised. I have seen this done in other ROC bunkers. A stove to consider would be the Frontier stove that comes with a chimney setup that could be mated with the bunkers GZI Tube.


Some original furniture and features:


Doors, table fixed to wall, cupboard, tool board, noticeboard, door mat, 2 government rubbish bins, hand pump for pumping water fromthe sump (rarely required).


None original features:


Small folding table




Separat emergency 25 composting toilet with unused liquid waste container.


Large Ingersoll high security padlock.


Bunker T-Bar key for internal latch.


80w Monocrystaline solar panel.


Where is it?


The bunker is located about 11 miles to the West of Exeter and about 7 miles from Newton Abbot. The nearest village is about 1 miles away and contains a 15th century pub that serves very good food and drink. There is also a small general store. I will not specify the exact location here so the future owner can be reassured of the relative privacy of the location.


What could you use it for?


There are many potential uses for a nuclear bunker in a secluded location. Abundant source of fallen wood for a stove.


Future war – An owner could stock the bunker for along term future senario


Disaster survival situation


Bunker breaks for quiet weekends in the woods


Film set for a specialist film (not that sort)!


HQ for bush craft weekends


Romantic weekend breaks


Bunker breaks for different and exciting short stays


Growing mushrooms


Secluded retreat


Hermit dwelling

Modern Jedi masters cave

The cellar for a property built on top if planning permission was gained.


Honda EU 2.0i silent suitcase generator available via separate negotiation.


Visit the below address for a video tour of the bunker:




For further information you can visit:


Please read the ebay policy on property buying. It is just a means to advertise the property and once buyer and seller are happy a solicitor will be required for normal legal property sale processes.

 Viewing: It is recommended that you view the property before committing to a serious bid. Although this is an ebay auction there is some flexibility to when the property is viewed by serious bidders.

There will be a viewing available for serious bidders with details available on request.

 If you have any questions, please ask.


Happy bidding!!!!

On 09-Sep-12 at 09:58:31 BST, seller added the following information:

Common questions and answers:

Can I drive to the bunker. Yes. Either park 200 metres from it or drive up a bridle path.

What size is it:  External plot is 25 x 20 metres. Internal size is 7 feet x 7 feet x 15 feet.

Is it fenced: Not currently. The buyer should check planning regs whether this could be done. 

Does it get wet inside: Not unless the hatch leaks. The new hatch does not leak. 

Is there a view: The bunker is in a small plot within mixed tree woodland. The view is of trees and ferns. The nearest tree is a silver birch.

Can I build on top: You would need to check planning regs for Dartmoor national park. Their planning dept has a page to submit queries.

How much would fitting mains utilities cost: I do not know so it is worth checking however being off grid has its own advantages and excitement factor!

Can I look around? Yes but message me for details as the site is difficult to find and you will need someone to let you in!

On 09-Sep-12 at 15:34:48 BST, seller added the following information:


This auction is due to end tomorrow and many interested parties have not been able to view the property. To maintain a fair process it is suggested that all interested parties bid in this auction on the basis that they are not legally bound if they win until they have viewed the property or begun the legal property buying process (as per ebay rules). Should the winner pull out then the second highest bidder will be contacted. This measure is to avoid ending the auction early or re-listing it when there is a winning bid in place.

Bids on property are not legally binding and are considered an offer by the vendor.

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