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Windyheads Hill, Gee station and camp

A Scheduled Monument in Troup, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.6466 / 57°38'47"N

Longitude: -2.2474 / 2°14'50"W

OS Eastings: 385328

OS Northings: 861885

OS Grid: NJ853618

Mapcode National: GBR N8TJ.128

Mapcode Global: WH9NB.G20B

Entry Name: Windyheads Hill, Gee station and camp

Scheduled Date: 8 December 2005

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11335

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: 20th Century Military and Related: Radar station

Location: Aberdour (Aberdeenshire)

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Troup

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument, Windyheads Hill, Gee station and camp, comprises the remains of a Second World War ground station for the Gee Navigation System and an associated accommodation camp visible as upstanding ruins and hut platforms. It is located on an exposed broad summit, 231m O.D., in open moorland next to a radio station that is still in use.

The surviving remains at Windyheads Hill consist of the concrete bases surrounded by c.3m high brick blast-walls of two transmitting/receiving (Tx/Rx) blocks (Nissan huts), the sites of two mast bases represented by four pyramidal concrete footings, a bunker and an octagonal-plan High Frequency/Direction Finding (HF/DF) building with walls of bituminous felt-clad timber boarding over a frame on a concrete base. To the immediate S of the station are the remains of one of its accommodation camps, which once contained 12-14 Nissen huts; of which the square-plan water tower survives (the heated water would have served the ablutions block). Of the four Tx/Rx blocks built, a post-war wireless station, still in use, was built over the site of one of them and the fourth appears to have been cleared in the 1970s or later. The main accommodation camp was situated 600m to the N; its site is now afforested.

Gee technology was invented by R. J. Dippy in 1938 and became operational in 1942 to provide RAF bomber navigators with a rapid means of determining their position using the time difference between pulses from three different stations. Gee was superseded by radar before the end of the war and there are only three other known examples of Gee Stations in the UK, including that at Burifa Hill, Caithness.

The area to be scheduled includes the remains described above and an area around them within which associated features might survive. It is irregular on plan and has maximum dimensions of about 805m N-S and 475m E-W as delineated in red on the accompanying map extract. It excludes the radio station, observation post and temperature gauge that are in use, existing fences, modern structures that are in use, the upper 30cm of the surfaces of existing roads, laybys and tracks and the existing extent of ditches and known service trenches.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a rare survival of a ground transmitting station of an important wartime military air navigation system, an integral part of the airborne offence of the Second World War. The in-situ remains add to our understanding of this type of monument as documentation detailing the layout and period of occupation of similar sites is often poor and rarely survives. Its importance is enhanced by its association with technological advancements of radio and radar. This type of monument is also often at risk from clearance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NJ86SE 27.00, Windyheads Hill, Gee Station and NJ86SE 27.02, Windyheads Hill, Gee Station Accommodation Camp.

References:

Guy J A 1993, GRAMPIAN: WORLD WAR ONE AND TWO DEFENCES OF GRAMPIAN, 2v, Edinburgh, Vol. 1, 20-23, Ref: 3-17-11-92.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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