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Take Shelter!
Take Shelter!
1 day before event starts Free  

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TAKE SHELTER! @ Downs Junior School
Downs Junior School, Rugby Road, Brighton & Hove, East Sussex, BN1 6ED

‘Take Shelter!’ is the only original WW2 Air Raid Shelter open to the public in the South of England, and our immersive museum allows visitors to experience what life was like for children in Brighton during the war years.
In 2019, our Heritage Open Days fall on the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WW2 so it’s an especially pertinent time to visit.

Hidden away under the playground at Downs Junior School is an original air raid shelter. Constructed in 1939, the shelter is the largest of three at the school and is the only one still accessible. The Trenches, as they were known at the time, are a series of interconnecting tunnels made from pre-cast concrete panels approximately 3 metres below the playground. With bench seating along each corridor the shelter had a capacity for 300 pupils, and was also used by the local community at night. After the two main staircase entrances were removed and sealed after the war, the shelter remained hidden away for over 30 years until it was discovered in 1985 during a routine drain inspection. Initial refurbishment was carried out in 2012, and then after major restoration work the shelter was opened as an immersive museum in 2016. Visitors will experience what life was like during the war years with first hand stories brought to life with rare local photographs, archive video clips and a bombing simulation.

● Saturday 21 September: 1000-1600
● Sunday 22 September: 1000-1600

The original staircase entrances have been removed over time so access is currently quite limited and access is only possible via a man-hole. Visitors will therefore need to be able to climb down a short ladder with side rails to access the space.
Additional Information:
Max 10 people per tour/session. 45 minutes We will have a refreshments stall and also a selection of branded gifts to buy including 'Sheltered Lives', a collection of stories and memories by ex-pupils who experienced the shelters as pupils during WW2.
The shelter is under the top playground so please use the Ditchling Road entrance to Downs Junior School (adjacent to Grantham Road). Our free guided tours start every 15 minutes from 10:00 until 15:15 and must be booked in advance.


See our other Heritage Open Days listings


Do you have questions about Take Shelter!? Contact The Regency Town House

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Downs Junior School
Rugby Road
BN1 6ED Brighton
United Kingdom

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