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Eriboll, Loch

A sizeable and deep sea loch on the north coast of Scotland, Loch Eriboll is located in NW Sutherland 4 miles (6.5 km) southeast of Durness and 8¾ miles (14 km) west of Tongue. In the late 19th century lime was produced from the local Durness limestone at Ard Neakie on the eastern shore and lime kilns remain extant. On the opposite side of the loch is Laid, a linear crofting township. On the hillside, to the north of this settlement, large boulders are arranged to form the names of various Royal Navy ships. These were laid out the sailors of the named ships during the inter-war years when the loch was used as a deep-water anchorage by the navy. Amongst these is a poignant reminder of the battleship HMS Hood, the largest ship in the British navy, which anchored in the loch in 1937 but was sunk four years later with the loss of all but three of the crew of 1418. Other names include HMS Blake, Swift, Valiant and Whirlwind. These stones were restored and repainted by children from the local primary school in 1993. More than thirty submarines, a substantial part of the remaining of the German U-boat fleet, surrendered here in May 1945. The submarines were disarmed with much of their munitions dumped in the loch.

Loch Eriboll marks the northern extent of the Moine Thrust and part of its eastern shore is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its geological importance.


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