Ancient Monuments

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MoD CORSHAM: Radio Studio

A Scheduled Monument in Corsham, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4207 / 51°25'14"N

Longitude: -2.2166 / 2°12'59"W

OS Eastings: 385035.145906

OS Northings: 169103.317464

OS Grid: ST850691

Mapcode National: GBR 1RF.Y4D

Mapcode Global: VH96H.JKJ6

Entry Name: MoD CORSHAM: Radio Studio

Scheduled Date: 20 March 2013

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1409123

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Corsham

Built-Up Area: Corsham

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Neston

Church of England Diocese: Bristol


Two adjacent rooms contained within a former Bath stone quarry, latterly adapted to an underground government facility: Central Government War Headquarters (CGWHQ); fitted for use as a radio studio.

Source: Historic England


PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: two adjacent rooms designed as a radio studio and technician's control room, with soundproofing attached to the walls and ceilings, and a window inserted within the shared wall.

DESCRIPTION: part of the underground complex at Corsham. The room to the west, the Studio, is approximately 4m square. The room to the east, the Office, is approximately 4.4m x 3.7m. Both rooms are constructed of concrete block within the quarry. A concrete step leads into the doorway of the Office. The Studio has a small internal lobby constructed of timber. The rooms are divided by a concrete block wall with a central window in a timber window frame. Suspended ceilings have been inserted and lined with sound-proofing, which is also attached to the walls of both rooms. The sound-proofing comprises square hardboard sheets with slits, framed in timber and fixed with metal hinges. The rooms are fitted with an I/O tie-line (with a modern interface connector in the Office), a communication cable for broadcast use.
The scheduling only includes the below-ground features noted. All surface buildings and structures are excluded from the monument. The scheduled area includes a 1m margin on all sides as well as above and below. However, the floors and ceilings in the passageway outside are excluded to accommodate any future need to install services.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Radio Studio in the CGWHQ, below MoD Corsham is designated as a Scheduled Monument for the following principal reasons:
* Period: the peril from the threat of nuclear strike that Britain faced during the Cold War is inherent in the need to provide this facility to broadcast information following a nuclear strike.
* Rarity: the site itself is unique, and this is one of only two Cold War underground radio studios to survive intact.
* Survival: the rooms retain their soundproofing and I/O tie-line (communication cable) as fitted.
* Group Value: the CGWHQ site is an unparalleled example of our national Cold War defence heritage, and represents the systematic use of expansive underground areas by industry and the military during the C20.
* Representative: the sober fitting out of the Bath Stone chamber, with breeze block partition and window, is redolent of the grim character of the Cold War era and the functional nature of the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hennessy, P, The Secret State, (2010)
McCamley, N J, Secret Underground Cities, (2000)
McCamley, N J, Cold War Secret Nuclear Bunkers, (2002)
McCamley, N J, Second World War Secret Bunkers, (2010)
Fox, S, 'Subterranea' in Top Secret - Acid, (2010)

Source: Historic England

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