28 Mar Buckinghamshire Surveyor Uncovers Historic Underground Chamber
Despite being a fascinating historic feature, the chamber gave the buyers cause for concern. This was down to the fact that any structural issues with it could pose a danger to anything on the ground above, from buildings and vehicles to the homeowners themselves.
Notably, the underground structure was not included on the estate agent’s particulars for the house. Nor was there any mention of it on documents available from the conversion of the property from a fire station into a dwelling, which was carried out just over a decade ago. While it was not safe to go inside because of the potential for the structure to collapse, our surveyor, Nick, was able to inspect it using a camera pole. This allowed Nick to identify the chamber as a large brick-vaulted tank.
Intriguingly, the same property houses an external fire platform on a tall pole, which is thought to date back to the early 1900s. This would once have been used to hold the siren that would have alerted firefighters, but given its age, may also have been used as a fire warden platform. As Nick told Buckinghamshire Live, “bearing in mind the fire platform at the same property, it could be possible that the tank was used as an underground shelter in wartime. Either way, a detailed assessment of the risk of collapse will be critical for making sure that the tank can be preserved, and the surrounding areas can be used safely.”