City of York
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City of York

Barley Hall
Bootham Bar
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Clifford's Tower
Dick Turpin's Grave
Fairfax House
Fishergate Bar
Goddard's Garden
Guy Fawkes Inn
Holy Trinity,

Holy Trinity,

Jorvik Viking Centre
The King's Manor
Mansion House
Adventurers Hall

Micklegate Bar
Norman House
Richard III Experience and Monk Bar
Roman Bath Museum
The Shambles
St. Martin le Grand
St. Olave's Church
St. William's College
Treasurer's House
Walmgate Bar
York Castle Museum
York City Walls
York Guildhall
York Minster
York Museum

Yorkshire Museum

York Cold War Bunker

The most modern and spine-chilling of all English Heritage's properties, the York Cold War Bunker, a two-storey semi-subterranean Cold War bunker in the Holgate area of York, uncovers the secret history of Britain's Cold War. In active service from the 1960s-1990s the bunker was designed as a nerve-centre to monitor fallout in the event of a nuclear attack.

The York bunker was opened on 16 December 1961 in the grounds of a large Edwardian property used over the years by a variety of Government agencies.

One of around thirty such bunkers scattered around Britain, the building was used throughout its operational existence as the regional headquarters and control centre for the Royal Observer Corps's No. 20 Group YORK between 1961 and 1991. It was opened in 2006 by English Heritage as a tourist attraction.

During its Cold War operational period the building could have supported 60 local volunteer members of the Royal Observer Corps inclusive of a ten-man United Kingdom Warning and Monitoring Organisation scientific warning team. They would have collated details of nuclear bombs exploded within the UK and tracked radioactive fallout across the Yorkshire region, warning the public of its approach. The bunker was put on top alert in 1962 during the Cuban Missile crisis, but was eventually abandoned in 1991 after the signing of a non-aggression treaty with the Warsaw Pact countries.

This example of an ROC control building is the only one that is preserved in its operational condition. The others stand derelict or have either been demolished or sold. A few have been converted to other uses like No. 16 Group Shrewsbury that is now a veterinary clinic, another is a recording studio, two are satellite and communications control centres and one is a solicitor's file storage facility.

The fully restored building contains air filtration and generating plant, kitchen and canteen, dormitories, radio and landline communication equipment and specialist 1980s computers and a fully equipped operations room with vertical illuminated perspex maps.

Shop selling a selection of English Heritage gifts and themed souvenirs, including books, stationery, postcards and war memorabilia.


York Cold War Bunker is situated on Monument Close, off Acomb Road, near the Carlton Tavern, around 2 miles from York city centre.

Sat Nav- Postcode:- YO24 4HT Latitude:- 53.956389 Longitude:- 1.117473

Parking - There is very limited free parking on the site. There is ample additional free parking on Acomb Road (2 minutes' walk).


Visitor Attractions