London deep-level shelters

From Academic Kids

The London deep-level shelters are eight deep level air-raid shelters that were built under London Underground stations during World War II. Each consists of a pair of parallel tunnels 16 feet 16 inches (5.3 m) in diameter and 12,000 feet (3.7 km) long. Each tunnel was subdivided into two decks and each shelter was designed to hold up to 8,000 people. It was planned that after the war the shelters would be used as part of a new express tube line.

One of the entrances to the Stockwell shelter, now decorated as a war memorial. (Closeup)
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One of the entrances to the Stockwell shelter, now decorated as a war memorial. (Closeup)

Ten shelters were planned, but only eight were completed. These are at:

The two not completed were at St. Paul's tube station and Oval tube station.

The shelters were started in 1940 and completed in 1942. They were originally all used by the government, but, as bombing intensified, five of them were opened to the public in 1944: Stockwell, Clapham North, Camden Town, Belsize Park and Clapham South. The Goodge Street shelter was used by General Eisenhower and the Chancery Lane shelter was used as a communications centre.

After the war, the Goodge Street shelter continued to be used by the army and the Chancery Lane shelter was converted into Kingsway telephone exchange.

Goodge Street shelter entrance
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Goodge Street shelter entrance

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