This magic lantern slide shows an octagonal house in Rottingdean. The house was built in 1890, although this photograph was probably taken in the 1920s or 30s.
At first glance this appears to be a picturesque if oddly shaped house. The man standing outside with a flower in his buttonhole looks like a proud new homeowner.
But all is not what it seems. Look closely at the shutters: they don’t appear to be designed to open. And why is there a large balcony by the chimney stack?
This was actually a fake house designed to hide a structure with a very different purpose. Can you guess what it was?
Author: Kevin Bacon, Digital Manager