The Central Government War Headquarters at Corsham
by Nick Catford
Hardback with dust jacket
224 pages, 250mm x 250mm
ISBN: 978 0 9564405 6 3
Price: £24.99 post free to UK mainland addresses
Publication date: November 2012
For fifty years the bunker now known as 'Burlington' was the most secret place in Britain.
In the early 1950s it was felt that an alternative seat of government should be available in case London become untenable in the event of a nuclear war. In 1954 the scheme was approved and construction work began. The bunker at Corsham in north-west Wiltshire would be the size of a small town and accommodate over 4,000 ministers and civil servants including the Prime Minister and War Cabinet, the Chiefs of Staff, the Ministry of Defence and Joint Intelligence Committee as well as all the other military and civil government departments such as the Air Ministry, Foreign Office, Home Office and so on, required both to prosecute the war and oversee post-attack civil reconstruction. It would have a power station, water works, sewage works, a telephone exchange, ventilating systems, and catering facilities allowing it to operate in a closed down condition for up to ninety days.
The bunker had a number of code-names during its life time - Subterfuge, Stockwell, Burlington, Turnstile, Chanticleer and Peripheral, but 'Burlington' is the name that it is remembered by.
This book tells the fascinating story of 'Burlington' from its inception in the early 1950s until 2004 when the site was finally declassified. It is a large-format volume and contains approximately 400 colour photographs, maps and plans accompanied by comprehensive captions and an authoritative text. Nick Catford was granted unprecedented access to this highly sensitive site in order to compile the collection of images reproduced in this book.