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Gin Head Research Establishment

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Research establishment, 2008
Research establishment
© Richard Webb

Gin Head research establishment was constructed during World War II, next to an existing Chain Home / Chain Home Low radar station on Gin Head, east of North Berwick on the south shore of the Firth of Forth.

This facility is reported to have been opened in 1943, and used to test and develop radar systems for use by the Royal Navy, and carry out evaluation of captured German radar equipment. Work is also described in relation to D-Day preparations for the landings in June 1944, where the effectiveness of radio countermeasure equipment was tested. The site was used by the Admiralty for testing radar equipment after the conflict ended, and was purchased by Ferranti in 1948. The Ferranti factory at Crewe Toll specialised in airborne radar work after the war, having previously manufactured gun sights for the RAF.

The site remained in use until 1994 at the latest, since when it has lain abandoned and derelict. More recently, an assessment of the site was carried out in 2005, prompted by proposals to develop the area for housing, and recognising that the buildings are of historic relevance, and have been documented.

Development of the site was described in a planning application to East Lothian Council in March 2006:

Alterations and extensions to laboratory buildings to form 9 houses, erection of garages, change of use of laboratory and agricultural land to form domestic garden ground, common amenity space. Formation of vehicular access and associated works.

- Planning application for domestic development of laboratory buildings.[1]

This was preceded by an application from Bae Systems Avionics Ltd (formerly Ferranti) to install a roof mounted radar antenna on the site, applied for in 2002, and withdrawn in 2006.[2]

As of late 2008, the planning application to develop the site for housing was approved.


Research establishment, 2008
Research establishment
© Richard Webb
Research establishment roof, 2008
Research establishment roof
© Richard Webb
Research establishment entrance, 2008
Research establishment entrance
© Richard Webb


1 Planning application for domestic development of laboratory buildings, current 2007

2 Planning application for roof mounted radar antenna by BAe, withdrawn 2006

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