Underground Fuel Storage Bunkers, Poole, Dorset

The first explore of the year was a much-needed affair since I’d not been underground or smelt decaying pigeons in weeks!

A big thanks goes to Lock1999 from 28dayslater for the random heads-up on this one. He told me about the fuel storage bunkers back in October 2010 but I just hadn’t had the time to go exploring.

The site is seriously overgrown and getting in (without climbing a dodgy spiked fence) involves wading through some proper spiky foliage! So after cutting my legs to shreds, we found ourselves in the compound and looking straight at one of the¬†fuel storage bunkers up in the hillside. A quick hop up, torch on, peer round the corner…. padlocked! A nice big, heavy metal door.

We knew (thanks to Lock1999) there was more than one tank… we just had to find it in amongst the shrubbery! Walking to the end of the compound we found it… rather wet in the entrance and gets even wetter inside. Flooded in fact. We opened the large heavy door and was greeting by a nice long passageway. All in all, not a bad little explore to whet the appetite for 2011!

Last updated: July 2015


35 responses to “Underground Fuel Storage Bunkers, Poole, Dorset”

  1. Mike says:

    Interesting reading about the area l used to kick about in as a kid some forty years ago.
    I lived on Napier Road so Rockley and around the lakes was home from home.

    The bunkers were for aviation fuel for the flying boats l can even remember the large pipes on lake pier in the late 70s early 80s. There was one bunker you could clamber in as it had been exposed possibly struck by bombs during WW2 I was still a kid when they fenced it off, I can also remember seeing a van going in the entrance off Napier Road with something-or-other tank cleaning company from Southampton written on it.

    There used to be hundereds of ways in through the pretty poor fencing but that was years ago. l was curious to read that someone knew the landowner as I had assumed it was the MOD.
    If there was any justice in the world this place would be preserved and opened up to the public.
    However as it’s not I might go have a sneak around sometime soon.

  2. tyler says:

    Went here **/09/2015. Got into the site found the buildings and the small tunnel. I managed to squeeze through the gap on the gate with bent bars but the door behind was sealed. I seen some pictures of a longer tunnel but couldn’t find it at all for the 2 hours we went looking. We must of searched the whole area. We went into the massive crater thing just to take a a look. Also found a hole in ground with lots of prickle bushes over top surrounded by a fence. If anybody maybe give a hint where the longer tunnel is, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.

    • Chantal says:

      The bigger tunnel is behind the welded door (where the gap in bars is) all doors are no longer accessible. Found a few interesting things. Will take some bits to get rid of thorn bushes as found something we’ve not read about by other explorers.

  3. argie says:

    Many thanks for the insight into this. I’ve lived in the area forever and had wondered what it was all about. I heard there was supposed to be a tunnel leading to the base but I now know that to be wrong, thanks again.

  4. James Mayo says:

    Hi is this the old aviation fuel bunkers near the Royal Marines Jetty? On lake drive? I read in one of my many local history books that a near miss bomb blew one open, but amazingly did not ignite the high octane petrol. It ran down Lake Drive like a river and collected in pools and all the drains. Much was recovered for reuse, but the inhabitants had to be evacuated for many days as the slightest spark would have sent the whole area up in smoke.

    I much enjoyed the article on Portland as it was my childhood home and we spent many wonderful hours in the High Angle Battery and also the disused RAF Radar Station on the west cliff at the top of New Rd. And in the Blacknor point coastal battery position, the ammunition lifts were still in working order then.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Yeah, it’s the same place, and I think you can see the crater from above still.

      I also grew up on Portland and loved exploring every inch of it! I’m very jealous of you getting in to Blacknor Fort! I suspect most of the original fixtures and fitting are long gone now sadly. Also, the RAF bunker you mentioned on Westcliff is sadly no longer there, it’s surface features were demolished and the bunker used as a storm drain for the nearby new-builds.

  5. Melissa says:

    WARNING!! Don’t go into one of those tunnels anymore as I went to explore the tunnels yesterday and the old building. One of the tunnels has a big gas leak, we were going to go inside when we could smell methane and other horrible gasses. The metal hatch where the ladder is says construction on it now and the door to go in well it’s a very hot room now with a massive gas leak. Please spread the word that the tunnel is unsafe.

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      I suspect what you could smell is the fuel which once filled the tanks, but can understand your concern.

      • Melissa says:

        All I know is that me and a few friends went in there and had to get out ASAP because they started to cough after being in there for about 2 seconds. If you were to light a fire in there it would explode. Sure it is a massive gas leak.

  6. Laurence B says:

    Hi Adam.

    Yet another brilliant bit of coverage!

    This looks like a fun little afternoon out! I hate to be cheeky, but is it best to try to get in here near the gate from the main road, or around the left boundary fence?
    This looks like a nice little local afternoon stroll. :-D

    • The Urban Explorer says:

      Hi Laurence,

      Thanks! Yeah it’s best to keep out of the public gaze and try the perimeter fence. It was down in several places when I explored the site.

    • Chantal says:

      Go down the hill towards the pier, on the first corner there are gates, to the right of gate is a gap in fencing. I got through and my 6’5 husband did too. Haven’t been since the summer so take cutters if grown over.

  7. Richard Attwells says:

    There are to my knowledge 19 sites classed as interest in Poole and Bournemouth from 1700 to 1967. From Holton Heath, Purbeck Mounds, Hengistbury Head, the Civil Offices in Poole, Dorchester. Several in Poole, Parkstone, Alder Rd, Branksome Chine, Swanage, Arne Ridgeway, Corfe, Blandford Estate, Lulworth Castle, Railway on old S&D line, Portland, Hurn etc. some small like bunker in Charmister Ave.

  8. David B says:

    I know exactly where this underground storage site is. Back in the early 1970s I have carried out work to the pipe lines within that structure, mainly cutting ,adaptions and welding of pipe lines. I know it was 2nd world war constructed but the work that we carried out was in relation to the Suez crisis at that time or so I am led to believe. It was a fascinating site at that time but now my recollection of the internal layout is a bit hazy

  9. lawrence says:

    I have just visited this site access easy as hole in fence by main gate I went up on hillside there is an open door and various accessible rooms also further up on hillside by foam storage shed under big pine trees is a ‘hole’ behind a fence which looks pretty dodgy but goes into back of bunker far away from other entrance ?? I’m getting in there soon

    • Dean says:

      Hi, could you tell me where this is please?
      Hoping to check some places out on Saturday.

      • Jean says:

        Same! Seems like a real gem, especially when it appears that most areas are far away, it’s always nice to have one that might be local!

  10. Steve says:

    Hi… Just wondering if this site is anywhere in the vicinity of Rockley Heath Trail? Examining Google maps and looking for clues!

  11. Aaron Darkwood says:

    Once again this looks a great place to explore. Is there a group of you go to these places, would love to come along.
    Would appreciate any details, and chatting with like minded persons.
    Aaron (in Bournemouth)

    • Hi Aaron,

      I’d suggest you join the forum 28dayslater.co.uk – there’s plenty of local guys and girls on there who would be happy to hook up with you I’m sure.

  12. steve s says:

    Looks a cool area never knew about all these Dorset ones lived in Poole for 30 years, would you be able to send some info on the Dorset areas please

    • Hi Steve,

      What info would you like? I’m afraid if you’re after location details I’m very reluctant to give them out. However there’s usually plenty of hints in my comments and all the Dorset locations are easily found with a bit of research

  13. Tim Hale says:


    Although I spent my childhood in Hamworthy, I am unaware of any underground sorage bunkers. Most of the area around Lake and Holton were off-limits and I have some photos from the 60’s.

  14. Ryan williams says:

    are they near wareham road ?

    • Hi Ryan,

      No sorry, they’re not.

      • callun Hatt says:

        i went to this site today it was great funbut couldn’t find the entrance to the long tunnel i found general stored and a lot of welded doors and hatches but was just wandering where in the site is the entrance to the long tunnels?

        • Hi Callun,

          Sounds like you were in the right place. Rumour has it that the doors to the bunkers have been welded. The green and blue doors in my photos are the entrance doors – so if you found those shut & welded then I’m afraid you’re out of luck!

        • Chantal says:

          You did have the right place. We went in June and they’re sealed and welded shut. Sorry mate

  15. Matt says:

    Went to this site recently and all is still there however the only access now is to a small tunnel and into some storage, there was a door sealed shut within this, found the entrance with the bars, still welded shut and gap was not big enough to get through, I think the door was sealed aswell beyond the gate, found a small entrance surrounded by a fence with an hole, entrance was collapsed and flooded below.

    May return with waders and get down there, altogether bit disappointed with what is accessible now. Not a great site to navigate either, lots of prickles and thorns.

  16. Matt Dopson says:

    Hi there I have an idea where it might be. But just want to get a heads up before I go to make sure its the right place. If you can tell me it would be great.


    • I’ve got no real problem with giving out the location for this particular site, but how about you say where you think it might be and I can tell you whether you’re right or not? ;)

  17. george.washer says:


  18. Nick B says:

    Hi there.
    Awesome photos! I have recently seen the Holton site which was pretty neat. I am thinking of doing an explore here next. Any chance you can send me details of the position of the bunker you can enter. I know the vague area of the bunker but not specifics. Any help would be appreciated! :)

    • I’ve recently been contacted by someone who knows the landowner and they’re not particularly keen on people visiting the site. However, if you just look on Google Maps in the Hamworthy area these bunkers stick out a mile!

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