Gardener digs up veggie patch to find WW2 bunker

26th June 2007
Daily Mail

A home gardener was stunned when he dug up his vegetable patch - and found an enormous secret room underneath!

Andy Lewis, 36, and partner Fiona Marks, 27, were clearing a section of their garden when they stumbled across a rusty manhole cover. After prising it open they were amazed to see a set of rusty ladder rungs leading 12ft down into the darkness.

Equipped with a torch, Andy and Fiona carefully climbed down to find an empty 50ft by 30ft bunker, which could have been used during World War Two.

Andy Lewis with the hole leading down to his underground bunker

The huge bunker found under Andy Lewis' vegetable patch

Littered on the wet floor were various rusty items, including a tiny doll, toothbrush, food tins, part of a child's shoe and a number of coins dating back to the 1860s.

The couple have been told by a local historian their ex-MoD home was built on a disused airfield in the 1950s. It is thought the lost room may have been used during the two world wars as storage for water, fuel or gas.

Another possibility is that it could have been built as a base for a special Home Guard underground resistance force in case the Nazis invaded Britain (Britain's Home Guard, which would have fought as best they could against the Germans had they invaded, numbered 2 million men in 1943).

The items found probably belonged to children who had played in the bunker during the 1960s after the house had been built.

Andy Lewis took his girlfriend Fiona Marks down for a look with a torch

The couple, who live in a three-bedroom terraced house, are now planning to turn it into either a unique gymnasium with hot tub and sauna or a games room.

Andy stumbled across the manhole cover as he cleared away shrubs in the back garden of his home in Old Sarum, near Salisbury, Wiltshire.

He and Fiona were hoping to build a play area for their children, Megan, six, Ellie, two and 14-month-old Alfred, in an overgrown area at the bottom of the garden.

Andy, an employment adviser, said: "We were carrying out some renovation work on a huge overgrown patch when we made the discovery. We only moved into the house a year ago and there was nothing on the searches to say there was a sewer pipe so we thought we'd have a look.

The underground bunker could have been set up for the Home Guard resistance - hopefully better organised than the loveable BBC Dad's Army

"I was absolutely amazed when I got down there - it was completely mad."

Fiona said: "I think it's amazing but we just don't know what to do next. I want to turn the room into an underground swimming pool or put a hot tub and sauna down there. But Andy wants to have a games room or a pub.

"All our neighbours have been digging up their gardens to see if they have a room too. The man next door found a manhole cover but it was just big enough for me to stand in.

"It would be fantastic to think there could be an entire secret underground city down there."

Last edited by Blackleaf; Jun 26th, 2007 at 11:52 AM..