About the author

Nick Catford is a world-renowned cameraman and is probably the most accomplished subterranean photographer working today, specialising in sites of cold-war, military and industrial archaeological interest.

He is the custodian of the highly authoritative Subterranea Brittanica website, the accuracy and depth of research of which has gained the respect of the general public, the media and government bodies alike.

Nick Catford contributes frequently to the media on the history of Britain's military and cold-war underground infrastructure.

Review on Amazon for First Edition

"Just received this book today, so haven't really had a chance to read it completely yet.

However, just flicking through this superb book reveals page after page of glorious pictures (almost all colour) of Burlington and its innards.

This is a place that until quite recently was kept secret from us, now, this book provides us with a plethora of superb pictures.

Congratulations Nick on another superb book, if you like this, you will almost certainly like ‘Cold War Bunkers’.

So, summing up, well researched, superbly written, magnificent pictures. Highly recommended, treat yourself, you won't regret it."


The Central Government War Headquarters at Corsham

by Nick Catford

224 pages, 210mm x 210mm
ISBN: 9781916178922
Price: £24.00 Second Class post to UK mainland addresses is £3
Publication date: 13 October 2023


This new limited edition print run will be available for delivery from 13 October 2023. Order now to secure a copy

See a low res video preview of the book

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.