Country cottage hides incredible hidden secret under its concrete floors

Nestled away in dappled woodland the bungalow looks like any other country cottage.

But this tiny property just 20 miles from London, near Brentwood, Essex, is hiding a huge secret.

Behind its door and underneath its floor lies a huge nuclear bunker, built at the height of the Cold War .

The giant, 27,000 square foot complex was made of 40,000 tonnes of concrete and was designed to protect those inside from any nuclear strike.

It is just one of the eerily derelict structures around the world explored in Yesterday's Abandoned Engineering.

Initially built as a complex radar defence system in the early 1950s, its original aim was to counter an attack by the Soviet Union after Joseph Stalin exploded his first atomic bomb in 1949.

It was to serve as an early warning to a possible attack and, if needed, could have been the difference between the UK making a counter strike and the complete destruction of the country.

The bunker, and it's cottage disguise, was just one of the facilities littered across the country.

It had enough space to house 600 people and in the event of an attack, once the doors were closed they would not reopen for three months.

But the radar technology quickly changed and within just a few years of its completion, the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker was almost obsolete.

However, this was not the end of the road for the strange structure, which now lies empty and abandoned.

Instead it became one of the regional centres for government if there was a nuclear strike on Britain.

Ministers would be taken to the relative safety of the underground bunker, which also had its own air supply – uncontaminated by possible radiation above.

Its close proximity to London meant the enormous hidden bunker could have been home to some of the most senior politicians in the UK.

Their task would have been to run the country and coordinate the relief effort in the event of an attack.

The BBC even had a broadcasting booth so they could keep the population informed of all developments from beneath the earth.

Historian James Corum said: "It would have been vital to preserve and protect the government so if everything goes wrong they can manage to keep control of the devastated country afterwards."

The bunker was maintained until the 1990s, when the threat of nuclear attack was deemed low enough for it to be closed down.

But the tunnels, and buildings and equipment still lie hundreds of feet below the surface of the ground.

Other bizarre abandoned structures include a huge complex in Poland, close it its border with the Czech Republic.

A strange circular structure is one of the few things that can still be seen in the top secret site.

But underneath the ground is a labrynth of tunnels and historians believe there could be miles more closed off forever from prying eyes.

Nazi Germany was so determined to bury the secrets of the work carried out at the site they killed the scientists involved at the end of World War Two.

But experts believe the site could have been used to develop a new kind of flying machine that would have devastated the allied forces and could have decimated Britain.

Even more chillingly, it could also have been the site where Nazis were developing the super destructive V2 bombs.

Meanwhile in Shanghai, eastern China, lies a now empty, stunning art deco building.

From the outside it looks liek the height of sophistication.

But inside it was a very different – and macabre – story.

The huge building was erected at the height of Shanghai's boom time in the 1930s and with its winding passages, ramps, and endless staircases looks like a surreal piece of art made real.

But it was actually a giant slaughter house, with ever part of it designed to kill animals with lightning quick efficiency and minimum mess to feed the ever-growing population.

Meanwhile in the middle of the French countryside lie almost 100 miles of a single track concrete.

Crumbling and unusued, it looks like somthing from another planet.

But this track could have heralded a new future for rail travel as it was used to develop the Aerotrain, a transport system that literally floated on air.

Using a jet engine and developed by Jean Bertin, the Aerorain was a serious competitor for France's TGV.

Travelling at more than 250mph it was developed in the 1970s and ultimately lost out to become France's rail provider when the government opted for a system on wheels.

Tragically, an overworked Bertin died of cancer just a year after his project, which he had spent decades developing, was cancelled.

And the final Aerotrain, which was going to be used as a tourist attraction, was destroyed in a fire in the 1990s.

  • Abandoned Engineering is on Yesterday on Thursday at 8pm.

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