Simon Marks, a 37-year-old computer support worker from Luton, was in for a surprise when he investigated a mysterious hole that appeared in his driveway. Initially thinking it was a sinkhole or poorly constructed garden, he discovered that his £400,000 house was built over a World War II air raid shelter. The discovery was made when the wheel of his car caved in, leading him to uncover a two-roomed shelter hidden beneath part of his driveway.
Alarmed at first, Marks inspected the hole and found a ladder. Using a selfie stick to explore further, he discovered two rooms beneath the surface. After consulting with his father, Gerald, they confirmed it was an air raid shelter in immaculate condition, constructed from concrete lintels. Intriguingly, the house was bought from an elderly couple who built it in the 1970s, suggesting they may have been aware of the shelter’s existence and covered it during construction.
Simon speculated that the shelter might have been built after a German bomb landed near the house during the war. The structure, approximately 10 feet deep, was filled with mud, old bottles, newspapers, and other relics of the time. Determined to preserve this historical find, Simon and his father began excavating the shelter, filling the front garden with mud as they cleared away debris.
Despite the shelter being nearly full with mud and having a bricked-up wall, the duo pressed on, uncovering the hidden space. Simon expressed his amazement at the handcrafted construction of the shelter and emphasized the importance of preserving it as part of their history. The process involved digging down about 5 feet, with another 5 feet to go.
Simon and his father were committed to their excavation efforts, aiming to clear and preserve the shelter if it proved structurally sound. Their discovery highlighted the hidden histories beneath seemingly ordinary properties, reminiscent of a recent find—a secret fire station untouched for over 60 years—discovered in the cellar of a West Midlands shopfitting firm.