Exploring Scotland’s Secret Bunker

Hidden beneath an ordinary looking stone-clad, red tiled-roof farmhouse, about three miles north of the picturesque village of Anstruther, is Scotland’s Secret Bunker. Concealed behind a screen of trees and barbed wire fences, Troywood was the site that for more than forty years after the conclusion of World War II served as one of the most sensitive and secret national security installations in Scotland. Today Troywood is one of the most noteworthy and unusual attractions that East Fife has to offer.

The farmhouse serves as the entrance to the 150 meter underground tunnel that leads to Scotland’s Secret Bunker. Visitors are constantly astounded by the extent of this concealed underground world. The Secret Bunker served a variety of purposes during the time it was in operation and visitors can expect to see an interesting series of recreated interiors representing the national security challenges which were faced during the different time periods of its existence.

The Secret Bunker started out as a link in the chain of radar stations controlled by the RAF along the UK coastline following Word War II. Operating under the code name “Rotor” the primary function of these radar stations was to spot Russian bombers and dispatch fighters to intercept them. The RAF Operations Room is a recreation of life as it was in the Secret Bunker during that time period. The Radar Room displays radar equipment that was used in Aberdeenshire to direct some of the final interceptions of Cold War Russian aircraft.

Advances in radar technology during the 1950s led to redundancy of the Troywood Secret Bunker. In 1958 Troywood was renovated to accommodate the Regional Civil Defense Corps Head Quarters and visitors can see the main command center focusing on this period of time.

In the early 1970s the Secret Bunker was refurbished and extended to serve the role of being the main seat of government in Scotland should the country come under nuclear attack. The renovations included dormitories to accommodate 300 personnel, a mess area and a chapel. Possibly the most thought provoking room in Scotland’s Secret Bunker complex is the Nuclear Command Control Center – an area from which authorities would have attempted to run a post-apocalyptic Scotland.

A tour through Scotland’s Secret Bunker is a fascinating and sobering experience. Visitors are brought face-to-face with the reality that the Cold War era, with its constant threat of nuclear war that could have had a much different outcome – one that the Scottish authorities were preparing to face as best as they possibly could.