Nuclear bomb store put on list
A former atomic bomb store which held more than half the UK’s nuclear warheads during the 1950’s has been put on a recovery list.
The Barnham Nuclear Bomb Store, on the site of the current Gorse Industrial Estate, was completed in 1959 for the storage of the Ministry of Defence’s Blue Danube Atomic bomb.
Last week, English Heritage announced that the store had been put on the heritage at risk register and will undergo hundreds of thousands of pounds of repairs.
John Ette, Inspector of Monuments for English Heritage, said the store was an important historical site.
“It housed both the component and explosive part of the war head and there was only one other site in the country, in Lincolnshire, which did that.
“It would have been the most top secret site in the country during the 1950s,” he said.
The site had four zones with 57 hutches for warheads to be stored and five watch towers.
Three Grade 2* listed and two Grade 2 listed buildings are also on the site.
Missiles would be taken from the site to bomber command if needed with the site acting as a key facility during Cold War tensions.
The hutches, four of the towers and a perimeter concrete wall are under repair.
Mr Ette said the restoration of the site would be of ‘huge benefit’ to businesses on the site.
“Restoring the condition of the rest of the site has really been the objective,” he said.
He added that once the work was completed - expected to take more than a year - the site would be readied for visitors.
English Heritage has already been working with the University of East Anglia to produce a digital map and fly-through of the site which would be available online, according to Mr Ette.
Eighty per cent of the funding for the repairs has been provided by English Heritage, with the remaining amount being provided by owner, Keith Eldred.
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