We often hear about buried treasures from cartoons or movies, however, can you imagine discovering something valuable under your own property? While it may not sound realistic to many people, it did recently happen to one lucky British guy.
A Life-changing Discovery
Discovering something rare and valuable does not happen quite often, especially when it is buried under your own driveway. One British man got lucky enough to discover something incredible during his usual weekend at home.
He Was Just A Regular Guy But Not Anymore
Simon Marks is a 37-year-old man from a town called Luton, Bedfordshire, England. In 2016, he held a job of a computer support worker and was certainly not expecting to discover an incredible treasure on his own property. He was just a regular office worker who held a 9 to 5 job and looked forward to the weekend at home with his family and friends. His life completely changed one morning when he found something fascinating.
Being A Homeowner Can Be Rewarding
Simon owned a house, meaning there was always something to work on, fix, or clean in and outside of the house. On a usual Saturday morning, Marks was preparing to do any of these things, but instead, he got the chance to discover something that ended up completely turning his life around.
Weird Car Problem
He had plans to go out on Saturday afternoon so he started to back out his black Vauxhall Zafira from the driveway. Little did he know that he was about to encounter something very unusual. It all began with the feeling of the front wheel getting stuck on something, which immediately worried Simon. At first, he thought that the reason for this trouble was a poorly constructed garden, or perhaps a sinkhole in the driveway. His initial thought was that his plans for tonight were probably ruined by such an inconvenient problem.
Expecting The Worst
Simon decided to call his father before attempting to fix anything himself. He was afraid that his attempt will result in the whole house vanishing and desperately needed his fathers advice. He stepped outside of his car and took a photo of what he thought was a simple hole in the driveway and sent it to his dad.
Inspecting The Weird Hole
Mark started slowly poking around the hole and moving the cracked paving stones while waiting for his father to come. He could not figure out what the problem was. After doing some minor digging in the hole, he realised that it was something more than just a simple hole in the driveway.
Simon was very surprised to discover something quite shocking in the hole after moving some paving stones out of the way. He found a ladder covered in soil and mud leading somewhere deeper underneath the driveway. The curiosity was killing Marks and he decided to stop digging but to try to figure out where the ladder was leading while his father was still on the way.
The Usefulness Of a Selfie Stick
He decided to not dig further until his father arrived to examine the situation. Instead, Marks went home and took his selfie stick to try and figure out what was going on down below. He connected his phone to the selfie stick and put it down in the hole in hopes of getting an idea of where the ladder was leading. Simon started thinking and imagining of what he was possibly about to discover under his own home. Accidental amazing discoveries are real and perhaps it was about to happen to Marks too.
Previous Big Discovery
A family from a small town in Guatemala also found something shocking only four years before Simon’s big discovery. During a regular kitchen renovation in the house, the Ramirez family accidentally stumbled ancient Mayan murals hidden under layers of paint. According to the archaeologists, Ramirez’s home was more than 300 years old and most likely belonged to someone important back in the years because of the kind of murals that were present in their home. Since an amazing discovery happened in a small town in Guatemala, then why not in a town in England?
Another Previous Discovery In England
There was another accidental discovery in the home just a few hours away from where Simon was residing. A couple from Plymouth found out there was an actual medieval well under the ceiling of their living room. It is believed to be built by Sir Francis Drake’s servants. The Steers family could not figure out why a section of their living room floor was dipped. After retirement, Colin Steer decided to find out the reason for it and dug the floor. Besides finding a medieval well, he also discovered there was a real sword hidden in the well!
Additional Huge Discovery
Besides the well, there was one more shocking discovery in an English town close to Luton that happened the same year as Mark’s case. An English man from Wiltshire found a mosaic in his barn under the floor. Later after investigating the property, the archaeologists also located a large floor of a Roman villa. They believe it belonged to an emperor. After these big discoveries, Marks was hoping that his finding was also something truly rare and amazing.
Dad The Rescuer
Simon told his father everything that he discovered so far as soon as he showed up to his house. After Marks showed his dad a massive hole in his driveway and the ladder leading somewhere deep inside, the two men decided to keep digging further to see what they discover next. The digging process was not easy, they had to remove multiple buckets of mud in order to clear out space in the hole. Simon could not believe his eyes, what he was seeing was truly a miracle!
Unexpected DIY Project
The digging process was definitely not easy, as the two men did not have any special tools or equipment for this kind of task. Instead, they were using shovels and buckets to help them push forward. As they keep digging, the amount of mud taken out of the hole kept growing, limiting the space on the driveway. The space below, on the other hand, kept becoming bigger. Simon’s father was starting to realize what they were about to find.
The History of Simon’s House
Simon purchased this house for £400,000 from an old couple. They were the first owners of the property and had actually built it in the 1970s. However, they never mentioned anything to Marks about the secret space below the driveway. It was obvious they must have known something about this strange hole with the ladder, as there was a large amount of mud used to fill in all that space. Whoever was in charge of filling assumed it would probably never be discovered, although as we can see now, they were definitely wrong.
After most of the mud had been taken out, 67-year old Gerald Marks got an idea of what it could be. He did some research and tried to find photos of similar structures from the time period he assumed their finding was from. Gerland used the internet and his own knowledge of UK history to help him figure out what they just found.
Questionable History of The Simon’s Land
The area was nothing but open field prior to the existing house. After the discovery, Simon and his father went through the ordnance surveys and were surprised to find out that before the house was built, it was all just an empty land. So how did the previous owners miss such a huge structure under the ground? Perhaps they simply decided not to bother with documenting this finding and move on with their life.
A Bit Of History
Simon and his father looked at the ordinances and online photos in order to figure out the reason behind the large hole. Marks’ father was quite sure their finding was a relic from World War II. The ladder looked old based on the amount rust on the metal. They figured out space was most likely abandoned shortly before the house was built. But what was it?
Sir John Anderson
Right before World War II, in 1938, there was a man named Sir John Anderson who was in charge of air raids preparations in Britain. Sir John Anderson and his team created a simple and useful shelter which could be hidden in home backyards. The adaptable metal walls prevented the explosions from destroying the shelter. The walls were as strong as regular concrete walls. There were about two million shelters like that, although, turns out, this was not exactly what Simon found under his home.
Simon’s father was convinced they found another hidden shelter from World War II below the driveway. After some research, they found out that there were at least a few other air raid shelters in this area after a bomb had exploded. They could not believe they just discovered an important part of history under their own home. However, this was only the beginning of their discovery.
Gerland and Simon continued to clear out the hole and eventually went down to see what it was all about by using the ladder. The first thing they noticed down there was a strange doorway leading to more space in the dark. Before continuing their journey, Simon used his selfie stick to try and figure out whether it was safe to proceed or not. The photos showed two rooms that were more spacious than they imagined. It looked at it was enough space to hide for several people back in the day. But from whom and why were they hiding there?
The Reason Behind It
The German air force called Luftwaffe organized several bombing raids on the UK during World War II. The air force also attacked some parts of Birmingham, Liverpool, and London which are located not too far from Simon’s property. Besides the historical facts, the two men had also found some artifacts that were proving their theory about the mysterious hole.
An Old Newspaper
While exploring the rooms, the men noticed a Herald newspaper from the time of the war. They were amazed to find out what else was going on in Great Britain during World War II. Despite the horrible war, the newspaper showed that people were still going about their lives. Things were happening and people were getting updated on it by paper. Luckily, the newspaper published the dates of events which helped the two Marks men to figure out the approximate time when the shelter was used.
People who were hiding in the shelters were doing different activities to keep themselves occupied based on newspapers and photos that the two men had found while researching. The rooms were crowded as a lot of people wanted to hide and there was not a lot of free space, which was completely understandable. Nevertheless, everyone tried to keep occupied to distract themselves from reality by doing different activities together. They read a lot of books, however, what about the food?
Turns out, the people who were hiding in shelters like the one under Simon’s house, kept a supply of food and water with them. They needed it for survival while waiting for the bombing above them to be over. Simon and his father found an old bottle in one of the rooms which proves the fact people were actually living there for quite some time.
Simon and his father were amazed at the way things were structured down there. It was hard to imagine that everything they saw was made by hand during such a tough period of time. The people used bricks to in the walls for extra strength and to make sure nothing would fall down and hurt anyone. Surprisingly, despite an entirely new building being on top of the shelter, the structure was still holding up very well.
Every day Gerland and Simon continued to explore the hidden shelter by taking away all the mud taking up space. They wanted to uncover the entire shelter and learn about it as much as possible. The two men kept working every day and tried to put the pieces together despite not knowing how the shelter was built and whether it was secure or not. How deep was the shelter? They were about to find that out.
More Than Six Feet Deep
Reporters who interviewed Simon and his father just a couple of days since the big discovery stated that they made good progress. Simon said, ” Since Saturday it’s been a case of dig, dig, dig. We’re about five feet down at the moment so it’s just another five feet to go until it’s finished. I think we’re going to have to get a skip in because there’s so much rubbish to get rid of” The shelter was actually about ten feet deep!
Marks mentioned that one of the walls has been bricked up and he is more than 90 percent confident that they will not find any other rooms in the shelter when asked about his future plans. He says, “They might have bricked up one of the walls when the house was built to make way for the foundations. If that’s the case we’ll just have to leave it” Simon was still quite shocked at his recent discovery.
Cherishing The Past
Simon believes this astonishing part of history should be kept. Gerland and his son hope they will be able to save this shelter as it is and keep it for the future. After discovering such an amazing thing, they desire to save it and show off. Simon and Gerland believe there is more history yet to be discovered and their case is a clear example. These pieces of history are important to save for future generations.