Geophysical Investigations of WW2 UK air-raid shelters

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 1 of this Preprint.

This Preprint has no visible version.

Download Preprint

Download Preprint

Supplementary Files

Joe Ainsworth, Jamie K Pringle, Peter Doyle, Matt Stringfellow, Daniel Roberts, Ian Geoffrey Stimpson, Kristopher D Wisniewski, Jon Goodwin


Just before WW2, the British government prepared for an aerial onslaught that was predicted to raze cities and cause mass casualties. By 1938, the Air Raid Precautions Act officially stated that population protection would be through dispersal, meaning evacuation and small-scale protection, local authority responsibility often devolving to householders. Archaeological records of remaining air-raid shelters are relatively rare and under threat. This paper reports on geophysical surveys on three sites in Stoke-on-Trent and London.
Results found three intact Stanton shelters in Stoke-on-Trent, located by GPR, electrical resistivity, magnetometry, gravity and electromagnetic methods. In London, partially demolished shelters and an intact, mass public shelter were both detected by EM and GPR methods, with subsequent intrusive investigations confirming results.
Study outcomes shows hitherto-neglected wartime shelters are in varied condition, with geophysical surveys able to detect, characterise and assess them, helping bring WWII British history into the wider scientific community and public domain.



Earth Sciences, Other Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Geophysics, United Kingdom, WW2, air-raid shelters, The Blitz


Published: 2018-05-22 09:09


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.