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Cold War Underground Monitoring Station

A Grade II Listed Building in Brassington, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.0938 / 53°5'37"N

Longitude: -1.6613 / 1°39'40"W

OS Eastings: 422779

OS Northings: 355226

OS Grid: SK227552

Mapcode National: GBR 59C.0TG

Mapcode Global: WHCDT.GH4L

Entry Name: Cold War Underground Monitoring Station

Listing Date: 18 October 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1394695

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508494

Location: Brassington, Derbyshire Dales, Derbyshire, DE4

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales

Civil Parish: Brassington

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Brassington St James

Church of England Diocese: Derby

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Listing Text


74/0/10003 Cold War Underground Monitoring Station

UKWMO underground monitoring post, which opened in 1964.

MATERIALS, PLAN, EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR: The subterranean building is constructed entirely of concrete. The ROC post is visible on the surface as a grassy mound with a concrete ventilation shaft with two louvered vents at each end. That to the southern end is adjacent to an entrance shaft. A vertical pipe extending above ground between the two ventilation shafts would have been the base plate for a Bomb Power Indicator, an instrument introduced to these monitoring posts around 1958 when inadequacies of the earlier monitoring instruments were identified.

The monitoring posts were built to a standard design. The single entrance shaft is approximately 4.5m deep and gives access to two rooms, one containing a chemical toilet and the larger operations room which measures approximately 4.5m by 2.25m. In 2001 it was recorded that within the Brassington UKWMO post a number of items survive including; beds, mattresses, shelving, an instrument table, a WB1401 carrier receiver, WB1410 filter unit, BT connection boxes and wiring, posters, and original folding canvas chair. Telephones and other mechanical equipment had been removed.

HISTORY: Following the end of World War II, the ROC had a brief period of stand-down before it was reactivated in 1947 in response to the increased tension with the Eastern Block. By the 1950s the threat of nuclear attack persuaded the Government to set up the United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation (UKWMO). The Royal Observer Corps was given the job of collecting information on the locations of nuclear bombs, information on weapon sizes, fallout information, and basic weather information. In 1968 nearly 700 posts were closed.

The UKWMO underground post at Brassington came into use in 1965 when the main role of the ROC became nuclear reporting. The monitoring station was decommissioned in 1991 when the ROC was finally stood down.

Cocroft, W 'Cold War Monuments:an assessment by the Monuments Protection Programme' (English Heritage 2001)
Military Buildings Selection Guide. (English Heritage 2007) 12-13
www.subterranea brittanica.org.uk (accessed April 2010).

The UKWMO underground monitoring post at Brassington is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons;

* Architectural Interest: An example of a standard functional design which is an architectural representation of the changing threats to national security.
* Historical interest: The juxtaposition of the UKWMO monitoring station with the adjacent WWII ROC post reflects the continuity and change in the role of the ROC, and changes in the types, and levels, of potential threat on a national and international scale.
* Intactness and Alteration: The building survives structurally intact with the rare survival of internal fittings.
* Group Value: The significance is enhanced by association with the WWII ROC post.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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