The underground workings at Clarendon House School show three distinctly different phases of construction. Directly below the school playground is a 'cut and cover' low level air raid shelter system, with two main stairways for access and two emergency escape shafts. The shelter is surprisingly large for its type, with long passages lined with concrete panels throughout. Steps lead down from this shelter to an earlier set of tunnels, cut on a much deeper level into the chalk. These long, parallel tunnels have interconnecting spurs and then a steps leading into the school building. There are numerous carvings and examples of graffiti dating from the 1940s as well as the remains of wooden seating, indicating the tunnels' use during WW2. Another mystery tunnel, spurs off from these tunnels, and leads to a brick lined room. This is very different in construction to the rest of the tunnels, possibly of military or civil defence origin, and a tunnel, which was probably the original access to this section continues away from the school, but is blocked after a short distance. This probably linked with tunnels known to exist under the now demolished library adjacent to the school.
Many thanks to the school staff for allowing this visit.
Inside the 'cut and cover' shelter
One of the two escape hatches
One of the two entrances from the playground
Stairs between the low level shelter and the deeper tunnels
One of the two parallel tunnels
The second tunnel
One of the chalk carvings
Tunnel leading to mystery room
Entrance to room
Inside the mystery room