The history of Glenstriven

The Glenstriven Estate has connections to one of the most famous episodes of the Second World War thanks to the genius designer Barnes Wallis, the bravery of 617 Squadron and of course the 1950’s movie ‘Dambusters’ with its stirring theme tune.

The bombs dropped from those legendary Dambuster raids were tested in a series of secret operations on Loch Striven.

The locals were evacuated from the area so they would not know what was going on. The Berry family who owned the estate at the time of the tests were the only people allowed to stay in the area. Security people came into the main house at Glenstriven and moved all the family to the back of the house, shut the curtains and the bombers would come down the Loch.

Loch Striven was chosen because the landscape and the mountains behind the head of the Loch were of similar height and resembled the back drop behind the Eder and Mohne dams in Germany. The practice bombs were made of concrete encased in steel.

In the summer of 2010 a team from Dundee University visited the estate and found 14 test bombs still lying at the bottom of the Loch. There are also still black marks on the rocks by the Loch from the tar burned to create a smokescreen surrounding the operation.