Non-Standard Bomb Shelters

This page contains information about shelters other than standard Anderson, Morrison or deep shelters.

Liverpool,  Plymouth & Woodford Green, Essex

Here, first of all, are three Anderson-shaped shelters that were made out of concrete, not corrugated iron.

The first two photos are of a shelter in Liverpool.  Below them, the photo on the left is of a shelter in Stoke, Plymouth.

The enterprising owners of the shelter in Woodford Green - below on the right - have cleverly turned it into a home for frogs and newts. They discovered it - after they had bought the house - covered in ivy and half buried in soil.   You can click on this image to see a larger version of the photo.




Here is an impressive corrugated iron Anderson shelter, built entirely underground and since lovingly restored by its owner, who has fitted a new ladder and hatch. Larger versions of the photos may be seen if you click on the following images.


This one is a real puzzle - a normal Anderson shelter (without its two ends) built in the cellar of a house. 

Maybe the owners of the house during the war decided that they would be safer in their basement than in a shelter in their garden, so they used their council-provided corrugated iron to build their shelter in their basement instead of in the garden?  Alternatively, they bought the structure after the war and erected it in their basement, but I can't think of any good reason why they would want to do so.

The steel features very clear Merino manufacturers' marks.



Its owner reports that there were once several of these brick built shelters in the Finchley area of North London, and a couple still remain:


I have created a separate web page with information about a group of fifteen underground shelters built by Courtaulds in 1939 to protect their workforce from the Luftwaffe.


Follow this link to read about three unusual and fascinating structures near (what was once) RAF Hornchurch.

Ivybridge, Devon

This is now a pretty shelter, mainly built with concrete and stone. but with a corrugated iron roof.


Langley, Buckinghamshire

Here are two photos of a rectangular concrete shelter.

Loudwater, Hertfordshire

Here is another interesting one. The nearby house was built in the 1930s and an Anderson shelter appears to have been specially built within a thick concrete shell. It was subsequently used as a wine cellar - hence the thermometer.



This is a very characterful shelter, used as a composter and built into a hillside in Sherwood, near Nottingham, which is no doubt how it has survived to this day.

Here are external and internal photos before it was cleared.


And here is a photo taken after the area around the shelter had been cleared, plus close-ups of external features including a bolt and a hinge.



South Croydon

This is a very impressive shelter refurbishment. The shelter is not set in a trench in the garden. Instead, as the garden slopes uphill, the shelter is partly set into the hill with decking above it. The shelter has been supplemented (in more recent times) with a brick archway and some retaining walls at its entrance. The escape hatch at the back of the shelter is especially clear.


Graham and Lizzie Hendra found this shelter in 2016 after they had brought in a gardener to remove a mound of earth at the end of their garden in Bitterne. Their house in Glenfield Avenue was built in 1922 and they had lived there for six years before discovering the shelter. It looks to have been very well built. The concrete cap may have been added by a builder who wanted to ensure the safety of his family during the war. Their cat certainly appreciated having a new space to explore.

Sadly, this shelter has since been removed from this garden.



This shelter can be visited, as it is in a garden featured by the National Garden Scheme.  (The fascinating and characterful garden was itself the 2015 National Garden Competition winner.)

The house was built in 1939, at the beginning of the war, so it made sense for the owners to have a strong concrete shelter built in their garden, some distance from the house.  Here is what it looked like before the current owners partially covered it with a rockery.

The shelter now has a new entrance which leads to a room about 2 metres square, strikingly decorated with a great variety of seashells. 


Wolverhampton Schools

Follow this link to read an interesting and detailed report about shelters at St Luke’s and Warstones schools.


Martin Stanley