Anderson Shelter Facts

Here are some facts about Anderson Shelters, popular air raid shelter used during the Blitz.

  • The Anderson shelter was designed in 1938.
  • It was named after Sir John Anderson, the man responsible for preparing Britain to withstand German air raids.

  • Anderson shelters were designed for 6 people.
  • The construction of the shelter was reasonably simple. The main part of the shelter was formed from six corrugated steel panels. Flat corrugated steel panels were bolted on to form the sides and end panels (one of which contained the door).
  • The shelters measured 1.4m wide, 2m long and 1.8m tall. They were quite cramped and someone taller than 6ft would not have been able to stand up in one.
  • Once constructed, the Anderson shelters were buried over 1 metre in the ground and then they were covered over with a thick layer of soil and turf.
  • Anderson shelters were free to those with an annual income of less than £250. For those who didn’t fall into this category, the price was £7.
  • Approximately 3.5 million Anderson shelters were built either before the war had started or during the conflict.
  • Anderson shelters were very effective at saving lives and preventing major injuries during air raids, but they were really cold during the winter months. To try to prevent people going back to their warm houses at night when the weather got colder, the Government issued some guidelines about how to make the Anderson shelters more comfortable. They also developed the Morrison shelter which could be used indoors.
  • Many Anderson shelters have survived to this day. Lots were dug up and used as garden sheds.

Anderson shelter instructions

  • Families were provided with the materials and were expected to construct the Anderson shelters from a set of instructions.

Find out more about other types of air raid shelters, check out some facts about the Blitz and look at our World War 2 links page.

86 Responses to Anderson Shelter Facts

  1. My maiden name was Anderson and I am currently researching the Anderson family tree and would like to know please, if Sir John Anderson (who designed the shelters) originated from Scotland and from which part if he did. I would be interested in any info that is available especially if it helps trace my family further back. Thank you. I find this ll very interesting and have printed off this page to put in my Anderson family file just in case he’s a relation.

    • Hi Lynn,
      Thanks for visiting Primary Facts.
      John Anderson was born in Scotland on 8th July 1882, in Eskbank (part of Dalkeith in Midlothian), and he studied mathematics and geology at the University of Edinburgh.
      Hope this helps!

      • Thanks James for your info. I have made notes from your e-mail and will investigate further now.
        Thanks again
        Lynn

    • this is a very good website for looking up all my research on Anderson shelters thank yo9u

  2. i found it really easy to take n otes from for a ten year old thx!

    • this really helped me with my homework , i think this is a really good website to help with anderson homework i can’t believe people still hve the shelter’s in there back garden

  3. I suppose I am lucky to have not one but 2 of the Anderson shelters in my back garden.
    Still in very good condition and have been raised and bolted together to make one big one.
    It is coincidental that my name is Anderson but who knows with a name like mine “Graham Anderson” could be a relative.
    They were unsightly but this is used now just for a shed and full of hoarded rubbish.
    I live in Leicestershire UK and anyone who needs to see it can come anytime to look but purely for educational needs.

    Thanks for reading

    Graham Anderson

  4. Great website, used some of the facts for my homework! im in primary7 and i love this:) WELL DONE xx

  5. amazing website i used for my home work i will recomend it to my friends

  6. These facts really helped me with my homework. They are interesting facts as well. Thank you for reading my comment. Nadia age 10

    • Thanks for visiting Primary Facts, Nadia. Glad we were able to help with your homework.

  7. This helped me a lot on my homework, THANKS!!!!!

    YOU ARE SOOOOOO KIND!!
    I don’t know how to thank you

  8. I have a homework challenge to build an Anderson Shelter and this has helped me so much. Thankyou.

    • Good luck with your Anderson shelter challenge, Aidan! Glad we were able to help you out.

    • thanks! i have also been told i have to build an Anderson shelter. these helped me so much

  9. Hi and thanks soooo much for this I loved it im going to show it all to my friends! heeeheeeheee

  10. 😛 Woah, A lot of comments get posted here 0.0 I was just reading through them ^-^

  11. This really helped me and my friends out with homework, thanks a lot!! 😀

  12. Thanks a lot. My homework was straight forward thanks 2 u. 10yr old

  13. Thank you very much for these facts. I have included them in my project work and were very helpful :).
    Caitlin,Age 11.

  14. This actually helped me with my History GCSE project that I am doing on the Blitz. Thanks!!! Jenner, aged 15

  15. This website is amazing! i am doing a history project on ww2 at the moment and I’ve used it for about every page! Thanks 🙂

  16. I’d just like to say it’s so good to see all of you young historians enjoying your subject so much, well done you guys!

  17. This and the morrison shelter page have really helped me with my technology website about England- I used to live there and then I moved so I wanted to do a page on History and WW2 but I only knew a small amount about both shelters! Thx! =)

    • Thnx for the help with Anderson shelters perfect for school

  18. This website was very good and helped me massively with my homework.

  19. I used this for my homework I am in primary 7 and my teacher said mine was the best
    So thank you for this website

    • Thanks for using Primary Facts, Mya. Glad we were able to help you with your homework.

  20. This is a very good website for homework. I got my homework done in half an hour using this website. It explains it very simply and is very factual too. 🙂

  21. Thank you for supplying me with this information .

  22. Thanks, this helped major!!!
    I’d searched on 17 websites and 6 search websites and nothing good about ‘Anderson Air Raid Shelters’ untill I found this great website. I would reccomend this to anyone, I’ve learnt so much {For A Change} considering I’m only 9. This really helped me with my project for my school {ST.John Fishers its a great school}

  23. Just yesterday we discovered an Anderson Shelter at the bottom of my sons garden and I used this website to confirm this fact. My son moved in This house 2 weeks ago and as the garden is really really overgrown we decided to tackle it this week and we found this shelter completely covered with Tree Ivy and were very excited to find out if it was in fact a shelter.

  24. The for creating and taking time to do so very good site basically did my homework for me

  25. this helped me with my school work a lot i am going to use this site a lot more now

  26. Thanks it really helps with my homework( 10 fact about World War 2 shelters )

  27. I love this website so much it helps with a lot of my homework!

  28. I have to make a Anderson shelter and I’ve got to do research about it and its helped me sooooooooooo much!

  29. Very helpful for my homework its very useful and I recommend it.

  30. This really helped me do my homework I’m so happy thanks

  31. Thank You! This helped me with my Anderson Shelter project a lot!
    From Fahad, Age 10.

  32. thanks James
    this websites amazing
    don’t know what i would do without it

  33. This might have been said by a lot of people but, this useful pieces of info really brightened up my day because my class and I are studying on Anderson Shelters, so this info really added some inspiration to my homework. Thanks a lot, whoever posted this!!!.

  34. This is a lot of help for our ww2 project, we are making our own anderson shelter!

  35. Thanks! This helped me a lot with my homework! Keep up the good work! <3

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