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Troywood Scotland’s Secret Bunker

Agosto 2010
La romantica Scozia nasconde un segreto: sistemato sotto una normale fattoria c’è un bunker antiatomico costruito ai tempi della Guerra Fredda. In caso di guerra nucleare, la Scozia (o quello che sarebbe rimasto) sarebbe stata governata da qui. Il bunker è stato aperto al pubblico nel 1994.

di John Rigg

File audio:

The Guard House
The Guard House

Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Standard British accent)

Visitors to Scotland’s Kingdom of Fife love its beautiful countryside, historic castles and picturesque fishing villages. They visit the 600-year-old St. Andrews Links, the legendary home of golf. But the Kingdom of Fife has a secret. Lost in the countryside, about 80 kilometres north-east of Edinburgh, there is a small wood and a farmhouse. At first sight, the small farmhouse appears insignificant. That’s how it was designed. This is the entrance to Scotland’s secret bunker, Troywood.


The bunker was built in the 1950s. At that time it was one of many radar stations that guarded Britain’s eastern coast. The Cold War between the West and the USSR was beginning. Royal Air Force (RAF) officers watched the skies for Russian bombers. Two nearby targets needed protection: the Royal Navy’s Rosyth dockyard and RAF Leuchars, a fighter base.


By 1970, Cold War tension was high. The situation was very serious. RAF Leuchars was a Quick Reaction Alert Force. Its fighters were constantly ready for combat, if Soviet planes entered British airspace. This happened nearly every day. The government prepared for nuclear war and Troywood was enlarged.


Inside the “farmhouse” there is a 150-metre corridor which leads down to two gigantic doors. The bunker is 40 metres under the ground, and has 3-metre thick concrete walls. The most important rooms are the RAF Operations Room, the Radar Room and the Nuclear Command Control Centre. This is the room where Scotland’s Secretary of State and his ministers could follow a nuclear attack on giant displays. There is also a BBC radio transmitter to inform survivors of the latest news.


Life in Troywood was hard. Staff didn’t see daylight for up to three months. The bunker accommodated 300 people in six dormitories. The dormitories were constantly occupied as staff slept in six-hour shifts. There were no showers: uncontaminated water was too precious. At least the kitchens provided high quality food. Visitors can try a meal in the bunker’s restaurant today. The Cold War ended in 1992, and Troywood is now a reminder of those dark days.


The nearest International airport is Edinburgh Airport. There are no direct trains or buses to Troywood. Buses run regularly to St Andrews, and the bunker is a 10-minute taxi ride from there. The bunker is open seven days a week (from 12th March 2010 to 31st October 2010). It is closed during the winter months. Opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Scotland’s Secret Bunker
Underground Nuclear Command Centre
Crown Buildings - Troywood
Fife - KY16 8QH, Scotland
Telephone: 0044 (0)1333  310301
Website: www.secretbunker.co.uk

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a small wood and a farmhouse - un boschetto e una fattoria.

guarded - controllava.

two nearby targets - due bersagli vicini.

dockyard - arsenale.

fighter base - base di aerei da caccia.

concrete walls - pareti di cemento.

giant displays - schermi giganti.

daylight - luce del giorno.

six-hour shifts - turni di sei ore.

showers - docce.