Report - - Gin Head Radar Research Facility, East Lothian - June 2015 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Gin Head Radar Research Facility, East Lothian - June 2015


Is this the future?
Regular User
Gin Head Rader Research Facility was made ready for action in 1943, during the Second World War. It was used as an early warning station to alert the RAF to incoming enemy aircraft; it allowed the RAF to scramble fighters specifically to the areas under attack and was part of the reason why the RAF always appeared to be in the right place at the right time. The site was also a secret facility that tested and developed radar systems for the Royal Navy and the Air Ministry. The Luffewaffe failed to recognise its significance throughout the war. The main priority was to assess captured German radar equipment. In particular, experiments were conducted on German Wurzburg and Seetaktrader equipment; this helped to understand the systems used by German destroyers, mine sweepers and other ships. The site is also well known for the innovative equipment that was produced prior to the D Day Landings in France on 6th June 1944. After the success at Gin Head, another site was established at Flamborough Head in Yorkshire; even this site was capable of detecting large enemy naval movements at sea. It is estimated that many allied lives were saved because of this technology. One of the additional major achievements of the Gin Head facility was the development of the technique named ‘Window’. The method here was to drop bundles of aluminium from an aircraft which would reflect enemy radar signals and jam their stations. It is reported that calculated amounts of aluminium dropped at certain intervals could deceive enemy reader and make it appear as though one bomber was a mass of planes or ships.

The site continued to operate as a testing facility after the war, under the command of the Admiralty, although the station was reduced to maintenance level by the mid 1950’s. Nevertheless, a high level of security was still retained. Gin Head was owned by the MOD up until the early 1980’s when it was eventually sold to GEC Ferranti (now Bae Systems Avionics Ltd.); a company which specialised in manufacturing gun sights for the RAF. Ferranti continued to use the facility for testing and developing equipment for the MOD during the final years of the Cold War. The site was abandoned during the mid 1990’s and although it is currently privately owned, no plans to develop the area have arisen.

After our little explore in the North Sea, we decided to head back inland and check out the derelict looking building that we’d spied on the cliff edge when we initially set out to reach Bass Rock. Back on dry land, although slightly damp ourselves, we managed to reach the secure perimeter of the former research facility. The fence is still heavily covered in barbed wire, and since it was strategically positioned on the cliff edge, it’s very difficult to enter from the opposite side. After some strategic thinking of our own though, we managed to conquer the fence. Inside, the site is almost entirely stripped, although the buildings look fairly intact from the outside. A few interesting features still remain if you look hard enough, such as the protective netting, the large ramp and a few traces that the site was in fact a radar testing facility. One thing I feel I must add above all else, however, is that after discovering the significance of this site during the war, I feel satisfied that we were able to have a good look around and see the last remnants before it disappears forever.

Explored with Ford Mayhem.

1: Gin Head Radar Research Facility from the Sea


2: Gin Head Radar Research Facility from the Land


3: Boiler House


4: Outside the Main Buildings


5: Central Area


6: An Example of Most of the Rooms


7: The Ramp (Used to Position Large Radar Equipment)


8: Front Building


9: Side Shot of Front Building


10: Inside


11: One of the Main Rooms


12: Another Main Room


13: The Front Room


14: Upstairs


15: Upstairs Front Room


16: Caution Non Ionizing Radition


17: The Front of the Station


18: Admiring the Netting


19: Up On the Roof


20: Remains of the Roof


21: Room with Seating


22: A Trailer


23: A Corsa


Lancashire lad

chief taster for costa coffee
28DL Full Member
is that bass rock out in the bay?? so you must be near tintagyll castle?? wow I used to visit the mother in law up there if id of known it was there my holidays would of been a whole lot better lol

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