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Revealing a Mornington Mystery

Home > Melbourne > Architecture | Day Trips | Escape the City
by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published September 7th 2014
This bunker's not on a golf course
I'm not meaning to be deliberately mysterious in the article title. The fact is that I visited a site yesterday to see something, and I'm still not entirely sure what it was! So by publicising it here, perhaps I will find out.

The location is the Cape Schanck Road, the one which runs from Boneo Road down to the Cape Schanck Lighthouse. Driving down this attractive, semi-rural road, you wouldn't know this mysterious site lurked off to one side unless someone told you about it. There's no sign, no marker, nothing to indicate that a strange but interesting building, if one can call it that, is just a few metres off the road through the scrub. My partner Dave had been there before, so was able to share the secret with me. The best description I can give is that it's about half way along Cape Schanck Road, on the west side. There is a visible track leading through the scrub, but you could easily miss it if you zoomed by in a car.

Exterior
Cape Schanck mystery - is it a private bunker?


What this structure looks like is a bunker or air raid shelter. It's a solid building, with various vents, entrances and hatches. Unfortunately, some of the hatches have been removed (or fallen off), but of those that remain, you can see that they are very solid, and have been designed to be pulled down and secured when one is inside. The structure itself is set into the side of a small hill or mound, a little like a Hobbit home. Sticking up from the structure is a turret, again with a steel hatch, next to which is a spiral staircase.

Hatches
Vents and entrances are (or were) covered by heavy steel hatches


Walking to the far side of the mound, there is another entrance to the structure, through heavy steel doors. There are unusual symbols adorning the door, which almost suggest an occult connection.

Symbols on door
The strange symbols on the door


Inside the structure, there is room enough to stand up and walk around. There is evidence of others having visited the place, including a long defunct cassette player.

Interior
A little creepy inside - signs that others have visited


The place has an eerie vibe, intensified by the fact it is surrounded by bush, and isolated from the road.

Although it's not easy to find this location, alas, others have found it and graffitied it.

Whatever theory I come up with for this place, it doesn't seem quite right. While we were there, two families, including young children, arrived and were swarming around. "Army bunker", one of the party said. "Lime kiln", said another. Army bunker sounds possible, but why the strange symbols on the door? Lime kiln sounds less plausible; why have heavy steel hatches to batten down if it's a lime kiln?

My best guess is a privately built bunker, constructed perhaps around the time of WWII. But that is just a guess.

Whatever it is, it's an interesting piece of history that should be preserved.
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Why? To help me solve the mystery!
When: Any time
Where: Cape Schanck Road, Cape Schanck (note, map shows approximate location only)
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Fascinating stuff! Must check it out
by EricaL (score: 3|1652) 1891 days ago
Apparently a retired officer back in the 50s built it on private property in case of invasion by the Russians . Just asked hubby and that was the rumour.
by vicki (score: 0|4) 1889 days ago
Yes, fascinating. I would be nice to get to the bottom of this. No pun intended.
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (score: 3|5695) 1888 days ago
Has anyone been here lately.
I would like to look at it, but need a bit more info as to where it is.
by ocean (score: 0|2) 947 days ago
It was built by the groundsman of the big white masion up the road back in the early 1900's and he fell in love with the daughter of the big white mansion which explains the love heart on one of the doors in the sub house the girls ghost has been seen many times at night peering thru the window and looking towards the sub house.
by Scott (score: 0|2) 675 days ago
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