A Cold War secret nuclear bunker was built in Scotland for Queen Elizabeth II

Anita Durairaj

Barnton Quarry BunkerCredit: AlasdairW; CC-BY-SA-3.0

In Britain, priority seating for nuclear bunkers has always been allotted to the military, politicians, and senior government officials. Among this esteemed group, the first priority would have gone to the head of state, - the British monarch.

One such nuclear bunker was located in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Barnton Quarry Nuclear Bunker was built in 1952 as a nuclear bunker for the Queen and her family as well as government officials who happened to be in Scotland at the time of the Cold War.

The Barnton Quarry Bunker was a three-storey bunker that was located 100 feet beneath Corstorphine Hill in Barnston Quarry.

The underground building was 30,000 square feet in size and was even equipped with a BBC broadcasting studio. The bunker could accommodate up to 400 people for 30 days. It is known as one of the largest underground military sites in the UK.

It was also classified as an R4 bunker meaning that it had an elaborate air defense system that could counter any attack by Soviet bombers.

The bunker was kept secret from the public and only exposed in 1963 when it was declassified. The building was even given a secret code name.

Barnton Quarry is now abandoned and disused. It was decommissioned in 1982 and then purchased in 2005 by a private owner who intends to convert it into a museum.

Most recently, Historic Environment Scotland has designated the site as Category A-listed indicating that it is a building of special historic interest to the public.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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