Five-year-old Elijah Brown, from Paulton, made a most uncommon discovery in his own back garden recently, whilst on the hunt for ants for his new indoor ant farm.

Elijah and his father, Lawrence, were collecting ants from underneath the garden patio slabs, when Elijah noticed what appeared to be an air vent of sorts. The vent seemed to lead to a cavernous opening, and after a careful inspection, they dug down through the patio to discover an underground bomb shelter.

Lawrence researched construction techniques, and believes the shelter would have been privately built by the house owners during World War Two. The house itself was thought to have been constructed in the early 1900s.

The inside of the shelter – which is still currently full of soil – is approximately six-foot-by-five-foot square, with ten-inch concrete walls and a well-braced, metal roof.

A 1937 halfpenny and a Robertson’s jam jar, possibly from the 1960s, were amongst the items discovered inside.

Lawrence plans to fully excavate the shelter and create a side-door as would have once been used. He then plans to re-lay the patio to restore it and place a window in the top hole by the air vent, and use the shelter as a shed and a play room for Elijah. He hopes the shelter will be fully restored by the end of the year.

Elijah, who is both excited and proud of his remarkable discovery, has invited the children from his school, Paulton Junior School class to visit. Likewise, Lawrence says that local history buffs who may wish to visit the shelter can contact him at: [email protected]