Air Raid Shelter
St Leonards Air Raid Shelter
This large air raid shelter was built in about 1938, partly below ground, as part of a development of flats in St Leonards Road, East Sheen. It is a communal shelter which served 70, approximately half the number of residents in the flats. The entrance to the shelter is via a circular brick building with a tiled conical roof with steps to a corridor leading to two day rooms (one male, one female) complete with chemical toilets and night rooms (again; one male one female) with numbered bunk beds. Each bay has three bunks and there are numbered coat hooks for each bed. Iron steps at the end of the night room lead up to escape hatches and the cast iron stove at the end of the central corridor and would have provided heating for the occupants. The shelter retains many of the original wooden benches, shelves, light fittings and paintwork features.
The Trust is involved with the conservation of this WWII air raid shelter as an educational resource for schools and the community. As a Grade II listed building on the English Heritage at risk register, the Trust is working collaboratively with local residents to conserve this heritage building for future generations and as testimony to the way in which people’s lives were affected by the threat of aerial attack in WWII.
Location: St Leonards Court, East Sheen, Richmond, London, SW14 7NG
See the video about St Leonards Court, before restoration, by James Cooper
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