Gin Head Radar Station and Research Establishment was built on the five-acre site in North Berwick in 1943 by the Admiralty who was responsible for the command of the Royal Navy until 1964.
The complex was used by scientists to test and develop radar systems for use by the Royal Navy as well as evaluating captured German radar equipment.
The scientists based at this research facility developed innovative and novel technologies that convinced the German High Command that the Allies were going to invade Pas-De-Calais on the strait of Dover on the 6th June 1944 instead of Normandy on D-Day.
The scientists also saved countless Allied lives by a technique devised by them called ‘window’. This technique involved Allied pilots dropping bundles of aluminium to deflect enemy radar signals – effectively jamming their stations.
The radar deployed at Gin Head enabled the Royal Air Force (RAF) to scramble fighter planes to ward of incoming attacks from the Luftwaffe.
The complex was built to withstand sustained bombing, but such was the secrecy of the site that the German High Command never even knew it existed and thus it was never attacked.
The site continued to be in use after the war for radar testing until 1948 when the Royal Navy went on to decommission it.
In 1948, it was purchased by Ferranti. Ferranti was a UK based company who specialised in airborne radar work after World War 2. During the war, they provided the RAF with gun sights. In 1994 the site was abandoned by Ferranti.
In 2002, Bae Systems Avionics Ltd (formerly trading as Ferranti), submitted a planning application to install a roof mounted radar antenna. The application was withdrawn in 2006.
In 2008, full planning permission was granted by East Lothian Council to develop the complex for residential use. The site was placed on the market for £3.5 million by estate agents Domus Nova and Goldsmiths & Co in a joint venture with planning permission for a 13-bedroom house comprising of 26,000 square feet. This is more than 16 times the size of an average British home.
Set atop one of the most dramatic coastlines in the country, Gin Head is a unique plot in Scotland which offers a motley of wildly thrilling development propositions.
Truly a diamond in the rough, the property itself has a fascinating past, originally founded as an Admiralty signals base in 1943… the perfect ‘evil lair’ if ever we saw one!
The plot sits almost solitary in one of the most visually compelling sites in Britain, surrounded by sensational rock formations, emerald cliffs and mesmerising, infinite seas; its closest neighbour is the monumental ruins of Tantallon Castle.Rob Atkins from estate agents Domus Nova
Gin Head presents a unique opportunity to create an iconic property and with the historic and dramatic backdrop of Tantallon Castle the site is without doubt one of the most desirable coastal development opportunities within the UK.
Thanks to its previous use Gin Head has excellent existing services. We are expecting interest from visionary, high net-worth individuals who recognise the potential and flexibility to create a unique development only 30 miles from Scotland’s capital.Richard Goldsmith from estate agents Goldsmith and Co
The site went on to be sold for 2.5 million and the anonymous buyer commissioned architects Lazzarnini Pickering Architetti (Italy) to design a 10-bedroom home comprising of 2 villas joined by covered walkways. Full planning permission was granted.
An artist’s rendition of how it could potentially look:
Located approx. 300 meters away is the 14th Century Tantallon Castle which was once home to Douglas Earls of Angus who were once one of the most powerful baronial families in Scotland.