Incredible WWII bunker discovered under ‘drain cover’ in back garden

Incredible WWII bunker that hasn’t been touched in decades is discovered under ‘drain cover’ in suburban back garden

  • Chris Scott found the bunker under what he thought was a drain cover at his home in Middlesborough
  • After spending two days draining bunker with builder Tony Sizer, they found two rooms with escape hatches
  • Mr Scott’s home was undergoing renovations when Mr Sizer persuaded him to open the cross hatch

A homeowner carrying out renovation work got more than he bargained for after finding a secret wartime bunker in his back garden.

Chris Scott was left stunned after he went to investigate what lay hidden beneath what he thought was a drain cover behind his home in Middlesborough.

Mr Scott’s home was undergoing renovations when builder Tony Sizer persuaded him to open the cross hatch, situated around 20ft from the back door.

After spending two days draining out the cavity with builder Tony Sizer, they found an extensive Second World War bunker consisting of two rooms with solid concrete walls and two escape hatches.

Chris Scott said he was stunned by the bunker which he unearthed under what he thought was a drain hole in his back garden in Middlesborough

Mr Scott and a workman spent two days pumping out water from the bunker after it had filled up with water in the time since the Second World War

The secret wartime bunker is believed to have been used for the around 100 people who lived on the street during the conflict

Mr Scott’s home was undergoing renovations when Mr Sizer persuaded him to open the cross hatch, situated around 20ft from the back door

The secret bunker is thought to be a secret hideout which was used to accommodate the 100 or so people living on the street.  

Mr Scott said: ‘It just looked like a drain cover. The neighbours had mentioned a bunker but I hadn’t thought anymore about it.

‘I was talking to the builder about it while we were having a cup of tea in the garden and he said, ‘Come on let’s have a look!’

At the bottom of the first cavity, which had a metal ladder around 10ft in length attached to it, there was a wooden door which was open and led to the two rooms.


The bunker once had electric switches and lights so that people could see underground. The bunker consisted of two rooms, each no bigger than five metres by five metres

A wooden table has been left blackened but remains upright despite being submerged in water for a number of years in the underground bunker

Rubble had built up in the underground chamber and made it difficult to excavate different parts of the rooms. At the end of the second room was another door, where they found another ladder behind the rubble

The first room measured around four metres by three metres while the second was five metres by three metres. 

At the end of the second room was another door, where they found another ladder behind the rubble.  

‘It’s an emergency escape ladder in case the first one was destroyed or blocked by rubble from a bomb,’ said Chris.

‘It’s not worth fully digging it out as it’s a small area.’ 

Mr Scott said neighbours had mentioned the possibility of a bunker in the back garden.

He said: ‘We were really shocked by the size of it.

‘There are a lot of electrics and switches down there and lights on the wall. A big table and lots of silt that could contain anything from back then.’  

Mr Scott is a managing director and lives with his wife Tony and their three-week-old daughter Nola. They are currently living in an apartment while the house undergoes extensive renovations.

A sachet of milk was left behind in the bunker, which perhaps shows it was used during the Second World War


Mr Scott is a managing director and lives with his wife Tony and their three-week-old daughter Nola. They are currently living in an apartment while the house undergoes extensive renovations

The 40-year-old said they may carry out some work on the bunker in the future to bring it back into use.

He said: ‘It’s a pretty big room and I will probably do something with it.

‘If I run a trench down and put some concrete steps and get some decent it might be worth doing something.’ 

Middlesborough and the Teeside area was targeted by the Nazis due to its importance in producing steel.

In total, 88 people from the city were killed in air raids carried out by the Germans. 

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