The Beetley Bunker

I sometimes break the monotony of Ollie’s daily walk by taking him across to the Recreation Ground, in High House Road. This is the home of the local cricket and football teams, and is fringed by some dense woodland, intersected by paths. There are so many trees inside, that even on a bright day it can feel gloomy and dark in there. Ollie always enjoys the excursion, as the woods are also home to substantial populations of rabbits and squirrels, so he spends much of his time chasing them around.

Today was no exception, and he flushed out many irritated squirrels, watching them scamper easily out of his reach, into the branches of the tall trees above. On one edge of the woodland, is a large, overgrown construction, similar to an early style of log cabin, or military bunker of some kind. It appears to have been constructed from fallen logs and branches, then dug out inside, to provide an earth floor. Some care has been taken to build it solidly, and I would guess that it has stood there for a while, as plants have grown on the roof.

I doubt that it has any military or similar uses though. For one thing, it faces into the woods, not across the open areas beyond, and it is not deep enough inside to make it comfortable to move around in. I suspect it was made as a den, somewhere for local children to play, or for teenagers to hang around in. It shows little or no sign of being used these days, so maybe the builders have since left the area. Luckily, I had my camera with me today, and got these shots of it.

From the front, you can see how well made it is.


The side view shows how the entrance was created.


I am surprised that more youngsters don’t play here. If I was a child in Beetley, I would be there all the time.

29 thoughts on “The Beetley Bunker

  1. I’ve always wondered what it was for – my friends and I used to dare each other to go inside. G (at 22) believes it’s a place to hide during the zombie apocalypse…


      1. Me too, but I let him dream!
        As far as I’m aware – we moved here in 2000. I started school at St Mary’s in the same year, and I always remember it being there whenever we used to walk to school through the woods, or go into the woods with school for ‘science’ purposes. There were lots of stories about it even then, told by the older kids – it was haunted, it was the local serial killer’s hideout, etc etc. I’ve no idea how it came about!


  2. oh my what a great looking fort to play in… I’d be in there all summers break as a child too… Probably making mud pies…



  3. Obviously, it’s an abandoned Troll house. Trolls once ventured out of Scandinavia in an attempt to colonize the isles. However, their efforts were thwarted by an epic thunderstorm. Most of their houses were left unfinished or else were quickly dismantled. Apparently, they later found a more favorable environment in Middle-earth.


    1. That would explain it then. They must have come over with the Vikings, who extensively colonised this area, from the 7th century. I will contact the Norwegian Embassy!
      Thanks, Pete.


  4. Fascinating structures…I thought about Ollie and you a few days ago when I went for a walk in Cannon Hall gardens with my mother. Plenty of ducks and some dogs jumping after them into the water.


  5. Youngsters are staring at a screen and moving their thumbs, that´s as much exercise as they do now a days, play station time! Whatever happened to the good old days….. I remember making houses on trees, running around the fields playing whatever we could imagine. I was more time outside home than inside my home.


  6. If there was room for me, with all of you, I’d play there, too – or maybe I’d be spooked, like Oliie. The attraction of sophisticated virtual games is too strong nowadays to tempt young imaginations to such rough places. Perhaps we are antediluvian? The young generations probably pity or laugh at our ideas of fun. We shudder with regret for lost innocence, but maybe the world has spun while we stand still? No, I don’t like that conclusion, either.


  7. That’s a great den, or maybe a hide? Those logs look like a serious weight to be lugging around for kids. I know I would have been hidden away in there, although I’m sure it would have been hard fought territory!


    1. I thought it might be a hide at first, Eddy, but there are few rare animals or birds around, and the football pitches are just the other side of the trees. I am also surprised that no locals have ‘claimed’ it.
      Cheers, Pete.


    1. We used to play on sites in London that had been bombed during the war, and had great fun, imagining them to be castles, cavalry forts, or cowboy hideouts. Perhaps today’s youngsters lack imagination, or their parents do not let them wander too far from home.
      I reckon we had more fun, Cindy.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  8. It looks fascinating, Pete. My dog certainly would run inside every time he had a chance! 🙂 we have something similar in the local forest, overground, made by youngsters out of sticks and wood. Thanks for the images! 🙂
    Wishing you all a lovely Sunday evening,


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