Norwich School hopes to unearth air raid shelters buried beneath its playground
- Credit: www.dibsmccalumphotography.co.uk
A network of tunnels buried beneath a city school's playground could be unearthed and opened up for access.
Built in September 1939, the tunnels served as an air raid shelter for pupils of the Norwich School during the Second World War.
During this time, they would have protected hundreds of children and their teachers from German bombers during the Blitz.
For decades though, they have been sealed back up, with the only access point being a small man hole cover in the middle of the play area.
But this could soon be a thing of the past, after an application was submitted to Norwich City Council to install a new access hatch, railings and ventilation for the shelters.
You may also want to watch:
Jonathan Pearson, fundraising campaign manager for the school, said the application was the first phase in what could hopefully lead to the tunnels being opened up to 'interested parties'.
He said: 'At the moment, we cannot really get people down there. Therefore, it is difficult to seek the right expert advice on how best they can be used.
- 1 Brother and sister found dead in their home are named
- 2 Why is it so difficult to buy bottled water?
- 3 Comedian Rufus Hound on the hunt for hotel in Norwich
- 4 Revealed: Siblings' bodies were found after father's death
- 5 'Music, food and motor cars': Festival set to return to Norwich
- 6 Drip, drip, hooray! City's bottled water crisis solved
- 7 Widow threatened with debt collectors after funeral director’s bill blunder
- 8 No-frills Norwich pub offers top-notch food and every dish is under £8
- 9 Multi-vehicle crash causes delays on A11
- 10 Every Norfolk primary school rated as 'Outstanding'
'However, we want to try and open up something that has a real heritage significance to the school and the city as a whole.'
Mr Pearson said, were the application a success, it would allow the school to bring in heritage experts to inspect the tunnels and assess how they could be utilised in future.
He added: 'Step one is simply to allow proper access. However, once this is there we can look at what could be done to open them up to interested parties.
'These could be children at the school, but also heritage groups and those with an interest in history.'
The series of tunnels run beneath the playground on the school, close to where its former Lodge building stood, which was devastated by bombs on June 29, 1942.
The construction of the shelters saw an expansion of the school holidays for pupils in 1939, with war declared in September of that year.
The application's design and access statement states that if approved, any work would be carried out in consultation with Roland Harris, archaeologist of Norwich Cathedral.