Barnton Quarry Bunker II

Barnton Quarry has had several lives – first it was a stone quarry of course, then in WWII it was the operations room for the Turnhouse sector of Fighter Command. After the war it was unused for a few years, then in 1952 a whole second bunker was built underground to turn it into a R4 ROTOR bunker – ROTOR was a radar early warning system. Abandoned again, it became a Regional Seat of Government (RSG) in the 1960s, where the Scottish government could hide in the event of nuclear war – a BBC studio was built where encouraging messages could be broadcast to the surviving population.


It was abandoned again in the early ’70s, and then suffered some catastrophic fires to leave it in the condition you see it now – the plan now is to renovate the WWII surface complex first, and use the proceeds from this to restore the ROTOR bunker. I have visited before, a couple of years ago. This was a permission visit, to take pictures and help clear out an old truck that had been dumped down the access shaft and set on fire.

Above, the ROTOR bunker, and the top of the three-level main staircase. The place is full of old tyres – this is one of the more photogenic piles 😉

Looking down three floors in the main operations room:

Almost every room is smoke damaged:

The basement telecoms switching room:

The studio:

A blast door:

Part of the massive air conditioning system:

Plant room:

Showers in the WWII surface bunker:

I absolutely love the paint scheme in this place 😉

And some self portraits 🙂

And the cliche shot that everyone gets:

Barnton Quarry has had several lives – first it was a stone quarry of course, then in WWII it was the operations room for the Turnhouse sector of Fighter Command. After the war it was unused for a few years, then in 1952 a whole second bunker was built underground to turn it into a R4 ROTOR bunker – ROTOR was a radar early warning system. Abandoned again, it became a Regional Seat of Government (RSG) in the 1960s, where the Scottish government could hide in the event of nuclear war – a BBC studio was built where encouraging messages could be broadcast to the surviving population.It was abandoned again in the early ’70s, and then suffered some catastrophic fires to leave it in the condition you see it now – the plan now is to renovate the WWII surface complex first, and use the proceeds from this to restore the ROTOR bunker.

2 Responses

  1. I have always wanted to visit the Barnton quarry bunker. I twould be fascinating to visit a rotor when it is not in active service!

    How do I go about getting myself invited to participate?

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