Wartime bunker becomes a sought-after pair of homes

Simon Vernon-Harcourt in one of the new homes created from the old bunker,

Simon Vernon-Harcourt in one of the new homes created from the old bunker, Buy this photo

First published in News
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Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Business and Property Reporter

PLENTY of properties cost a bomb but not many are built to withstand one.

Now, a former Second World War bunker at Caversfield, near Bicester, has been converted into two luxury homes, each with a price tag of £440,000.

The air raid shelter, built on the former RAF base in Caversfield in 1939, is still partly hidden by two giant earth mounds to protect from a bomb blast.

Also designed to cope with a gas or chemical attack, it was once divided into sections including a reception with a steel-shuttered chute to discard toxic clothing, showers and a dressing area with clean clothing.

Reinforced concrete was banked against metres of earth to create walls almost four metres thick. And the roof was made of two concrete slabs, with more than a metre of gravel sandwiched in between.

Developers City & Country, which specialises in restoring listed buildings, divided the bunker in half and added courtyards and glass domes, in the style of a Moroccan house.

Both houses have two bedrooms and open-plan kitchen/ sitting rooms, giving total floor space of up to 1,400 sq ft.

Simon Vernon-Harcourt, design and planning director of City & Country, said: “It was probably one of the most challenging buildings we have ever tackled and was particularly unusual, because it didn’t have any windows.

“There were very few of these built around the UK and most have been demolished or turned into something else.”

“As a bunker, you imagine it would be quite gloomy but it’s light and airy now.”

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Comments (1)

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9:53am Thu 15 May 14

snert says...

£440k for a 2 bedroom semi? No wonder house prices are so ridiculously over-inflated!
£440k for a 2 bedroom semi? No wonder house prices are so ridiculously over-inflated! snert
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