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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ashley Road Deep Shelter, Epsom

This public air raid shelter is one of a number commissioned by Surrey Council just before the beginning of WW2. It is similar in layout and construction as the Foxenden Quarry and Coulsdon shelters, some sections being lined with brick or corrugated steel and other parts remaining unlined. The system of parallel tunnels are accessed via a long passage in a deep cutting of the hillside. After having abandoned for many years, the tunnels are now in the hands of an airsoft group, who are maintaining the tunnels and use them for games.


Many thanks to the owners for allowing this visit.

Site plan of the tunnels

Detailed Surrey Council Plan

The entrance, in a deep cutting in a wooded area

Just inside the entrance

Party lined tunnel section

Toilet cubicles

Unlined tunnel supported by brick

Another unlined chalk section

Another steel lined section

Further in...

Unlined chalk tunnel

Section lined in brick

Another unlined section

Another lined section

Another tunnel section

Variation in lining on roof

14 comments:

bunny said...

great seeing the inside lit up because the last time i was in there in the 70's was by torchlight with my friends peter, charlie and steve.

alex g said...

i used to sneak into the tunnels with a small torch, i never dreamt the tunnels were so extensive..
i have told my 11yr old lad of my escapades..

chaz said...

is there any other entrances

James said...

Hi
My name is james i love the site its great,i am a media student making a short film and would love to use the tunnel for one of my shots.Who do i see about this?

James.

Colin G said...

Hi, well you could try Elite Airsoft, who are the owners!

http://www.eliteactiongames.com/epsom/index.html

Colin

Maxadolf said...

In the mid 70s I took my boys (aged ca 7 and 11) into the tunnel on a hot sweltering summer's day with the help of a torch; normally the tunnel entrance was locked. It was very cold inside. At one stage one of the boys suddenly fell into an open hole, possibly a drain. Fortunately, we were holding one another's hands and I was able to pull him out without injury to him. Without any light, apart from the torch, it was very easy to become disorientated. I recall seeing a ventilation outlet at the end of a right turn which allowed a shaft of light into that part of the tunnel and, also, a row of about 15 toilets, all smashed up by a previous visitor. After emerging back into the hot sunlight and, because of the obvious hazard to children, I reported to the police the fact that the heavy metal doors were unlocked. After several weeks the doors were again locked but, not before a boy entered the tunnels and couldn't find his way out. It was only by shouting through the ventilation opening that somebody who happened to be walking along the footpath leading to the fields, that he was rescued. He had a narrow escape because very few people ever used the footpath, only the occasional dog walker.

Anonymous said...

i live on this road :) right opposite my house!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I read somewhere that there were plans to turn it into a secure storage. Like an underground vault

Anonymous said...

Fellow Epsomers, have you visited the FB Epsom past page?
https://www.facebook.com/epsom.past

theslice2 said...

Bunny.........would that be Peter Hughes.....Charlie Clark and Steve Dickinson ?..... Francis Jordan and Kevin Palmer and Nick Crombie and Simon Muir too

Anonymous said...

Knew it was somewhere off Ashley Road and was told it went underground to the fort at Reigate Hill. Presume that is incorrect. Wasn't aware of where the entrance was though.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was originally built as a Mausoleum by Lord Roseberry but got taken over by the war. I remember that in the 60's a tree fell down which opened up the back exit. The "toilets" for the hospital were very narrow as they were designed to take coffins end on. There are a lot of passages in the chalk under Epsom and I would not be surprised if unseen extension has occurred.

Hazbo019 said...

Where along Ashley road is it located

Hazbo019 said...

Where on Ashley road is it