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!

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Important, noteworthy & interesting comments are highlighted below

  1. Mr Rat says:

    Went here on 09/04/2022, you can still access the area via a hole in the fence and crossing a small stream about a 2 feet wide. The doors that lead in to the rooms/corridors however are sealed up. The door at furthest point could be opened if you [* removed – do not suggest criminal damage *]. I would recommend waterproof footwear as it was quite muddy around the entrance at the fence and the doors.

  2. Alex says:

    Hi, anyone know if this is still accessible and if so the quickest way in. Thanks

    1. Dan says:

      Go to Lake Pier and just before you drive down to the car park there’s a small alley with a hole in the fence about 10m down. From there you gotta trek through some marshy heathland and you can get up to the bunkers.

      Wear some cargos and a coat to save yourself from the brambles.

      1. Matt says:

        We went there today and we can see the hole that was in the fence, but there unfortunately is a lot of new fencing (tall, steel, spikes, barb wire etc) surrounding the whole area so access now is almost impossible. I’m sure there are ways in but you’ll need waterproofs, welly boots and protective gloves!!

        1. Mr Rat says:

          Any CCTV?

    2. Faye s says:

      Hi Alex, any news on where exactly this is in Poole? x

  3. Gary Knowelden says:

    I walk my dogs most mornings round the Hamworthy lake and if you walk up the gravel path from the car park at the highest point there are a couple of steel manhole covers under the top layer of path gravel. I wonder if they are anything to do with the MOD or the bunkers

    1. Karen duggan says:

      Worth keeping an eye on it see if the MOD start doing some housekeeping in it😳 we may be needing it.

  4. Morse Hudson says:

    This place was known as 225 Depot. It was originally used for fuelling the flying boats during WWII. My father worked there and he took me down the tunnels in the 1960s when I was about 8. I seem to remember there was a hatch in the concreted ground just inside the gate. A long tunnel sloped down to a dog-leg to the right. On this corner there was an old canvas stretcher standing against the wall and a Pyrene fire extinguisher.

    There was then another turn to the left and the tunnel came out onto the heath, from which you could see the bombed-out petrol tank. There was a painting on the wall just after the dog-leg of a Sunderland flying boat taking off. That is the way I remember it, but it was 50 years ago. As no one has mentioned this picture, either it has gone, or this is a different tunnel, or my memory may be playing tricks on me.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Yeah, surprising the mural hasn’t been mentioned or photographed. I suspect there’s been a few licks of paint added since sadly!

      1. Abandoned Dorset channel says:

        Hello how did you get in this bunker?

        1. Anonymous says:

          It’s easy to get in to, there’s loads of access points to this one and loads of entry points to the tunnels too, something someone hasn’t mentioned yet either on any of these is if you pick the right one or should say if you know the right one (tunnel) it will lead you all the way under the roadways to the main base on the other side of the road, and going by his description he would of walked past a couple of the entry points that you can go in to gain access to the cut through tunnels, they’re pretty cool. There’s all sorts dotted about over that area. If you want to know more Anonymous0technology@gmail.com

    2. Graham Thomas says:

      If this is at Hamworthy my father worked there during the war and was there the night a German bomber hit one of the storage tanks, he retired in the mid sixties, I too paid many visits to the site.

  5. Nicole Cherry says:

    Where can this be located as we are looking to use it for a film location, thanks!

  6. Liam says:

    Hi, is it by Hamworthy Lake? I can’t find it.

    1. Graham says:

      If you walk from the jetty up the road towards the top you will see on your right big steel gates, it’s inside there.

  7. Brody says:

    Spent a lot of time there as a kid, as I grew up on the nearby estate. Me and best mate got in there a couple of times but never realised there were entrances other than in the building. We could never face the masses of gorse you had to navigate to get to the pit. Might have to go visit again next time I’m back in Poole.

  8. Awk says:

    Went there recently. Shame the main passageways are sealed but the storage area and old crater thing made for a good explore at least.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. James says:

        Hello. I’m totally fascinated by your site and all your discoveries. Is there anyway I can volunteer my services to be a part of this programme? I’d absolutely love to help you discover other sites, and have been looking for years. I’m happy to contribute financially to any searches. Either way, some information about how to be a part of the wider mission would be helpful. Thank you very much. James@jamesbunkin.com or 07477586886

  13. 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.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

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

      1. 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.

  14. 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

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. Euan says:

      Can somebody PLEASE tell me how to find this place because Poole is a large area

      1. The Urban Explorer says:

        Read the comments Euan, everything you need is here.

      2. dylan says:

        It’s in Hamworthy near Lake Pier Ham Common

  15. 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.

    1. Lada G says:

      Hi, do you have any more information on the small bunker on Charminster Ave? Me and the other half are intrigued, it’s so close but we haven’t heard of it
      Could you please email me, Ladagust36@gmail.com
      That would be awesome

      1. Dave miller says:

        Hi, looking at your message – I helped build the underground nuclear shelter at Charminster Hill.
        I lived in it for around 12 months.
        It’s basically a small bungalow underground but capable of withstanding a nuclear blast.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    1. Dean says:

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

      1. 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!

  18. Steve says:

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

  19. 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)

    1. 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.

  20. 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

    1. 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

  21. 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.

    1. Hi Tim,

      It’d be great to see some of your old photos from the area

  22. Ryan williams says:

    are they near wareham road ?

    1. Hi Ryan,

      No sorry, they’re not.

      1. 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?

        1. 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!

        2. Chantal says:

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

  23. 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.

  24. 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.


    1. 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? ;)

  25. george.washer says:


  26. 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! :)

    1. 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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