About Churchill’s Secret Bunker
Churchill’s Secret Bunker – also known as Paddock – was designed to be used as the nerve centre of the British government during WW2 in the event of Britain being unable to defend itself from air attack.
Churchill’s Secret Bunker history
Far more fortified than it’s Whitehall equivalent, the Paddock Bunker was built in the late 1930s in Neasden, north-west London, and would have been able to survive a direct hit from the Luftwaffe. In reality the complex was never fully employed, as the RAF proved able to negate the worst of the threat from the German air force after victory in the Battle of Britain.
Existing in total secrecy, only two meetings of the War Cabinet were actually held there and it was abandoned in 1944. The site then passed to the care of a local housing group after they were granted the rights to develop the area above ground, and today it is partly covered by residential buildings.
Churchill’s Secret Bunker today
While closed to the public for much of the year, Churchill’s Secret Bunker is open twice a year for guided tours run by the Subterranea Britannica group. All that remains above ground is a small modern brick enclosure within which a concrete staircase runs down to the complex – indeed passers-by would never imagine what lays beneath their feet.
Meanwhile, the relatively unknown underground complex is still very much as it would have been at the end of the war. Located 40 ft below ground and comprising over forty rooms on two floors, the Paddock bunker is now in a semi-derelict state but still boasts abandoned and rusted original equipment once in operation. Inside can be found the original map room, kitchen, and Churchill’s War Cabinet room – where he held one of his Cabinet meetings on October 3, 1940.
Getting to Churchill’s Secret Bunker
Churchill’s Secret Bunker is located in Neasden, London off the A4088. The nearest Underground station is Neasden, a 20-minute walk to the site, while the 232 bus service stops at Brook Road Dudden Hill, a 4-minute walk to the site.
Discover an expert-curated list of World War Two Sites, from Bletchley Park to the Juno Beach Centre and more, includes an interactive map of WW2 historical places around the world.
Discover the best historic sites in England, from Bodiam Castle to Beaulieu Abbey and more, includes an interactive map of English heritage attractions.
Discover the best historic locations in London from the British Museum to the London Mithraeum and more, includes an interactive map of London's cultural landmarks, monuments and museums.