Most people wouldn’t see a WWII bunker and immediately think “Oh this would be a perfect home.” However, when one woman spotted a derelict bunker in England at Land’s End, she had that exact thought. Then, she made her dream a reality.
Completing renovations on a bunker from the 1940s would make even the hardiest of builders shudder in their boots. After all, the place was meant to withstand the blast from a bomb. How would a drill and hammer stand up to that? Well, for Elizabeth Strutton the task wasn’t too big to take on.
Changing the Bunker
The secluded bunker was built in 1942 in Land’s End in Cornwall. The purpose was for notifying troops of enemy activity like patrols, wiring parties, or sniper positions. Nazi attacks would target anyone moving around the bunker, and those inside frantically tried to protect England from German forces.
After the war, the bunker lay barren and unused for decades. One farmer ended up using the building to store his potatoes. However, when Liz saw the bunker listing in a Penzance estate agent’s window, she knew she had to have it.
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Liz purchased the bunker for $194,000 and had to invest over $135,000 to make it livable and up to building standards for a home. Today, the bunker is a fully functioning abode. It contains 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a full wet room. The entire place is well-lit from tubular skylights installed through the sturdy roof. There are no windows in the building, so the skylights really help to illuminate it.
It is a magical fortress. You are at the end of the world and living history. You don’t know what you’re letting yourself in for when you take this kind of thing on, but I know I live in the best place in the world now.Elizabeth Strutton | DailyMail
The bunker took an extended period of time to build. Since there are no windows or fire escapes, industrial fire sprinklers were installed. This meant a month’s worth of drilling through the bunker roof.
The three-foot mound of soil covering the building meant that the entire structure needed to be insulated as well. In order to prevent any dampness or mold growing inside.
‘Really it was a blessing in disguise. But it has taken years to make it right. It was always just a holiday home and always on the market. At first it was just an unmissable opportunity – this is like the highlight of someone’s career. I was always going to move on and continue with the business.Elizabeth Strutton | DailyMail
It hasn’t been done before so the builders weren’t used to this kind of space. It took much longer and much more money than expected. Amazingly, the family of a veteran came down the other week. They said their mum now has dementia but told them she worked here during the war. They didn’t believe her but once they were in, it was exactly as she had described it. Their mother was very happy about it apparently, and it was so interesting for me to hear.Elizabeth Strutton | DailyMail
Living in here you do really appreciate the way people fought – you feel a sort of connection with what they were doing. It is something I don’t want to take for granted and one of the best things about the place.Elizabeth Strutton | DailyMail
So, due to the market crash, Liz had the place up for sale and it is was listed at $373,000 in 2013.
- “The Home Front! Former WWII bunker used to guard Britain’s cliffs against the Nazis has been converted into a three-bedroom bungalow… and it’s on sale for £275,000.” Daily Mail. Mia de Graaf. September, 2013