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Old 1st Nov 08, 17:54
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Urban Mole
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Default RAF Ventnor R1 CEW ROTOR bunker - Isle of Wight - June 08 - PIC HEAVY

NOTE: A few of you may remember me posting this report up some time ago, but as it was new, I got so much flack over it, I ended up removing it.
So now Im reposting it, as the entrance has now been found and sealed by the owners/authorities(CAA) so there is now NO ACCESS to this bunker.
It is also a state now due to local pikes looting it.

As some of you may or may not know, this cold war R1 ROTOR bunker has been sealed since around 1994, when all of the surface buildings were demolished and ALL exits/entrances were capped with atleast 15" of concrete.

But I am happy to announce this has now been accessed, and I am bringing you the first and only pictures from the bunker for 15 years.

From what I have found out, the ROTOR bunker was built in Nov 1952, and operational until the end of the cold war, around 1991, then the council used it as a bomb shelter(protection from what in 1992/3 I dont know), then it had an open day once or twice, then ALL entrances/exits were demolished & capped with concrete in 1994/5.

More info on this place can be found on Nicks usual Subbrit site, although there are no underground pictures of this site.
But also on his site is this walk through of a similar R1 bunker at Bempton -
(sorry if Im plugging his site, but I have no connection with it)

The small gray bungalow built just inside the chain-link perimeter fence somewhat optimistically disguised the entrance to the bunker. Besides providing access to the top of a circular stairway guarded by a Service Policeman, the bungalow accommodated the Technical Officer together with his Warrant Officer. The roof space was used to store a small quantity of spare units for the radar 'heads'

The tunnel, which was about eight feet square, descended at a significant angle and was brightly lit, had smartly painted rendered walls and had a highly polished brown linoleum floor. After about 30 yards there was a wall mounted glass fronted cabinet which contained two service revolvers. It was hard to imagine the purpose of these, especially when I later learnt that the bullets for these were kept in a safe in the office above. The corridor continued, then turned sharply left and after another thirty or so yards reached a pair of massive blast doors. These were well over a foot thick and presumably motor driven, but thankfully I never saw them closed. The corridor was now at the right-hand side of a large room known as the Radar Office.

After this, doors on the right gave access to Officers' and Other Ranks' refreshment rooms and on the left, curtained access to the Operations Room. Next, also on the left, double doors led to a few steps down into a large high ceilinged 'plant' room housing ranks of motor generating equipment and air-conditioning apparatus. The corridor, now being only six feet across, continued through double doors and around a corner to a bolted heavy steel door through which was the main ventilation shaft which doubled as a route to the emergency exit. The shaft contained a zigzag of several flights of steel stairs and a large waterfall air washing system. Finally a heavy door in the side of the shaft, now a steel tube, opened to fresh air.
Above vague quote taken from

Just inside the tall double gates, immediately on the left stood the 'bungalow' guardroom, to the rear of which was the spiral staircase down to 'The Hole'. The bungalow was demolished in 1991 and this thick concrete slab now covers the underground access. But since this photo was taken the slab and the bungalow foundation have been covered with chalky earth and there is no evidence at all that an underground R1 bunker ever existed. The ventilation / emergency egress tower has been removed and similarly welded, concreted and interred. Any unauthorised persons attempting entry would surely be disappointed, be detected by the sophisticated site security devices that these CAA outposts surely have and thus risk untimely death, courtesy of the summoned anti terrorist squad!
Another quote from the same site, made me chuckle

RAF Ventnor has a whole load of history, but I wont bore you with it all, but basically its been around for ages, and through the wars etc.

All the following images are library pictures, unless they have my watermark on them.

Here is an ariel picture of the site, sometime in the 60/70s;

And another picture a bit earlier, prob around the 40/50s;

During WW2, it was bombed by the germans, causing a significant amount of damage to the aeriels and radar;

(photo taken from a german bomber during the raid)

Here is a plan of it when some of it was still active;

Anyway, quick history lesson over, on with the bunker.

In this next pic, you can see the inset picture is from the first ariel picture, of the guardhouse, merged onto a picture of the same site now from google earth, now you see it, now you dont;

This is what it looked like before it was demolished, around 1993;

Since demolition it has been capped, as mentioned earlier;

They put a manhole cover in it so they could always gain access, but as people kept breaking into it, in 1994 they welded and bolted bars over it, then covered it with chalk and earth, now there is no visible recognition.

There would have been this, the emergency exit stairway & vent shaft, but both were demolished and capped;

Also there would have been these, cable shafts, but these too were capped.

Here is a plan of the R1 bunker, for those who havnt seen one before;

On with my pics;

The stairway down from where the guard house was, into the access tunnel.

Looking down the access tunnel, towards a friend who was with me.

Access tunnel.

Looking back up the access tunnel, with what looks like a gun rack on the right.

The gated transformer room.

Close up, I dont think men are working now

Cable shaft, and lots of mould.

Blast doors, these are not a foot think, as quoted earlier.

Looking at the doors towards the main entrance/exit.


Fire hose reel, last serviced 1991.

Door to Ops room.

Part of the teletalk equipment.

Ops room.

Ops room.

Ops room.

Ops room.

Ops room, notice the Isle of Wight on the glass window.

Map of the south, ops room.

Close up of my home county.

Main corridor, towards main entrance/exit again.

And again.

Womens lavatory(WRAF), clean as usual.

Womens lavatory(WRAF), complete with soap and bogroll.

Mens Lavatory.

Telecommunications room.

Telecommunications room.



Mess room with serving hatches.

Complete with running water, not fit for drinking, unless boiled.

And various keys.

More keys, breathing apparatus.

Lots of mould, everything was mouldy


Switchgear room.

Spare fuses.

Door towards the emergency exit.

Blast doors towards the emergency exit.

Corridor towards blast doors.

Pump & sump room, containing the compressor for sewage ejection.

Another transformer.


Emergency exit stairway.

Unfortunatly the PDU pit is flooded, so we will never know whats in there

I have literally hundres of photos of this place, so I wont go on posting them, youll fall asleep, but you get the idea

Comments welcome

>>> Moles Wight Exploration <<<
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