In Depth

Dover home with secret WWII bunker goes on sale for £3.5m

Cliffside property was once home to top-secret radar system that played crucial role in the war

WWII House

A former coastguard station on the famous white cliffs of Dover, which houses a concealed World War Two bunker, is on the market for £3.5m.

The 1920s building has been converted into a holiday let and tearoom, but during the war it served a far more momentous purpose: fending off a Nazi invasion.

More than 30ft beneath the unassuming brick building, a concrete bunker concealed a magnetron radar system that allowed operators to detect incoming aerial attacks by the German air force. 

The British had made significant progress in radar technology at the start of the war and many experts believe it was this technical advantage that allowed the RAF to win the Battle of Britain, ultimately leading to Hitler's decision to cancel his planned invasion of the British Isles.

"It was a massive, massive breakthrough," Andy Manning from the Radar Museum in Horning told the BBC in 2007. "It is deemed by many, even now, to be the most important invention that came out of the Second World War".

The building's current owners, Sandy and Mary Wallace, say that they "had no idea" the property contained an underground bunker when they purchased it 22 years ago.

"There was a trap door to what looked like a cellar," Sandy told the Daily Mail. "It was filled with rubble but when we dug it out we found that it led down two stairways to a bunker 35ft underground."

Nothing remained inside the bunker except a tin hat, he added, although he has since hung a photograph of Winston Churchill on the wall in memory of his wartime role.

As well as its hidden history, the house has "arguably one of the best views in the country", according to estate agent Marshall and Clarke, with an unobstructed view of the Channel that reaches all the way to France on a clear day.

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