Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units


Coleshill Site Excavation and Discovery

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Please Note: The Coleshill House site and grounds are owned by the National Trust. The woods and grounds of the house are all strictly private and access is limited to set days a year. See our events page for their official open days. Attempting to access the site outside of these times is not only trespassing but could damage the future of our work and relationship with the Trust and villagers. Please respect this.

Parts of the Coleshill site was excavated by The Ridgeway Military and Aviation Research Group.

These images were taken when  the "observation post" in Cuckoo Pen Wood was being excavated.
It was the normal double-skinned chamber, except that the inner walls were not corrugated iron, but asbestos.

We eventually found that the chamber had an access from the top of a shaft leading to one of the old water tunnels. A pot-holer friend surveyed the tunnel and found that it led to a point below the site of the former kitchens. Following a fire in the original ammo store during the war, we think this was the replacement, carefully sited some distance from the house and accessible only by discrete means.

Coleshill Excavations

RMARG members removing the 2nd 1/2 ton piece of concrete from the site.

Digging at Coleshill

Coleshill Operational Base uncovered

 One of the access step rungs causes amusement.

The group digging at Coleshill

Peter Long and team take a break from excavating.

Finds at Coleshill

Some of the finds from the Obs post, including the counterweight for the inner cover.

These images were taken of the training OB on the site. See more images of this OB on our OB page.

Inside Coleshill Operational Base

Inside the OB for the first time. See original entrance trapdoor top right of frame.

Entrance hatch to the Coleshill OB

The concrete cover over the OB main entrance. this is the view of the underside, showing the  impression of the wooden cover. that in turn would have been hidden beneath a camouflage.
It's not clear whether this concrete was a later addition made after the facility was closed, to hide/make
the entrance safe. The small arms rounds were found inside the OB.

 Uncovering the Coleshill bunker

RMARG members raising the height height of the OB entrance (to make it safer and more visible).
Note manhole cover on left awaiting fitting.

 The escape hatch

Where the escape tunnel would have been.

 escape entrance in the ha ha

The break-out in the Ha ha wall. What looks like the end of a lintel is only visible because we cheated.
The original was so well disguised that we could only find it by examining the other side of the wall.
It had been cemented over and lichen-covered (by pouring milk over the cement, apparently)

 The foundations of the tree

 digging out the hollow tree

The base of the hole concrete tree that was used to carry the cooking fumes up over the tree line.

All images are copyright to RMARG