London deep-level shelters
The London deep-level shelters
are eight deep level air-raid shelters that were built under London Underground
stations during World War II
. Each consists of a pair of parallel tunnels 16 feet 16 inches in diameter and 12,000 feet long. Each tunnel was subdivided into two decks and each shelter was designed to hold up to 8,000 people. It was planned that after the war the shelters would be used as part of a new express tube line.
One of the entrances to the Stockwell shelter, now decorated as a war memorial
Ten shelters were planned, but only eight were completed. These are at:
The two not completed were at St Paul's tube station
and Oval tube station
The shelters were started in 1940 and completed in 1942. They were originally all used by the government, but, as bombing intensified, five of them were opened to the public in 1944: Stockwell, Clapham North, Camden Town, Belsize Park and Clapham South. The Goodge Street shelter was used by General Eisenhower and the Chancery Lane shelter was used as a communications centre.
After the war, the Goodge Street shelter continued to be used by the army and the Chancery Lane shelter was converted into Kingsway telephone exchange.