“It was designed to be able to lock down, shut down, and operate without any interference from the outside world.” RAF Bentley Priory’s Cold War Bunker
On the 25 December 1991, Gorbachev transferred powers to Yeltsin, the new president of the Russian Federation and the Soviet Red banner was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time. The dissolution of the Soviet Union critically signalled the end of the Cold War.
To mark 30 years since the Cold War ended, Bentley Priory Museum has been installing new interpretation at the former entrance to the Cold War Bunker at RAF Bentley Priory, exploring its important role within British air defence. It includes interviews undertaken in 2020 with former RAF and ROC personnel who worked inside the top-secret bunker during this time of great uncertainty.
With the bunker filled in when the RAF left the site, the imposing steel bunker door is an important physical reminder of the site’s Cold War history. Unfortunately, after the RAF left one of the bunker door’s impressive ‘turning’ handles was stolen, and the other was so badly damaged it was rendered unrepairable.
To return the Cold War’s Bunker door to how it originally was, we are fundraising to commission the creation and installation of two new turning handles which will reinstate this important historical object.
All donations would be greatly received. If you have your own Cold War or Bunker story to share, please mention it when donating.