View Full Version : Dirleton Radar Complex
This is a picture of the Dirleton radar complex just to the east of edinburgh not far from Drem airfield. Its now a private house and as you can see the occupants have ammended it a fair bit! There are a few non-descript square brick buildings remaining and the usual smattering of air raid shelters.
The main building in the photo is the 'Happidrome' or Ops Block for the Final GCI station. The building on the right was the Stand-by Set House. As far as I know there is only one air raid shelter on the site, a pre-cast concrete affair that I'm fairly sure dates from the 1950s. The plinths for the Type 13 and 14 centimetric radars survive in good condition, as does the IFF cubicle and tower base. As the only Final GCI ever completed in Scotland (the one at Fullarton in Ayrshire was under construction, but cancelled before being finished), it is good that these buildings have survived, but a shame they've been altered.
The only Direlton that I can find is about 20 miles NE of Edinburgh. I've looked on the high ground but can't see it. Location please?
OK, found it:
NT58SW 72 51679 84851
This radar station is situated to the N of Dirleton village and some 150m NE of Dirleton New Mains farm. It consists of a large long building with several separate brick and concrete huts. The radar station formed part of the ground control of the interception radar (G C I) for the Edinburgh area.
J A Guy 1997; NMRS MS 810/5, 165, 176-7, 184
The radar station was the Ground Control of Interception (GCI) radar for the Edinburgh area. The operations block is at NT 5168 8484. The station had various radar types including a type 7, which was a final G.C.I. version consisting of a large fixed aerial with equipment in an underground well below; a type 8, mobile G.C.I. and a type 21 which was a development of the G.C.I. comprising type 13 (height finder) and 14 (accurate detection, giving range and bearing radars operating in conjunction. The type 21 thus provided three dimensional information, range and bearing and also height.
Information from Mr I Brown to RCAHMS, 19 October 1998
NT 5167 8483 A survey of the WW2 radar station at Dirleton was undertaken prior to the development of the site for housing. Within the site boundary the standing structures comprise an operations block, generator house, filter bed, Type 14 radar plinth and an 'Identification Friend or Foe' (IFF) cubicle. These were constructed in 1943 and the years immediately afterwards, and formed a part of a Ground Control of Interception (GCI) station. Initially housed on lorries with the aerials on 'caravans', the first buildings were of wood, later to be replaced by the present brick and concrete structures. Further enhancements were made during 1945, but by the time the building was completed the war was largely over and the station was turned over to training. It worked closely with the night fighter units from Charterhall and Drem. The GCI closed down in 1946 but the site was used for training purposes until 1954.
Other features identified include the stance for a Type 13 height finding radar, the foundations of the administration block and a guard dog enclosure. Further structures associated with the station also survive outwith the survey area. These include a second IFF cubicle, the subterranean control room and stance for a Type 7 radar aerial, and a Stanton air raid shelter.
Full report lodged with the NMRS.
Sponsor: Bankton Developments.
T Holden 2001
Hopefully this is the place in the late 1940s
Yeah, that's the site. The group of buildings in the centre with a small wood on the left is the nearby farm. The GCI buildings are above and to the right in the photograph. You can just about see the Type 13 heightfinder at the very top of the photo, more-or-less in the middle of the field. Unfortunately, the Type 7 is off shot to the north.
Sadly the northern site is off the frame on the original website. You can check here as there might be more of interest
Thanks - I've not seen that site so will have a good explore. I must confess I have good coverage of this site, with a series of low-level obliques showing the whole site in some detail. Unfortunately, I don't hold copyright so can't post them here, but hope to get permission to include them in the history of radar in Scotland 1938-1946 I'm trying to get published.
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