Loch Ewe

Nuclear Submarine Moorings, Loch Ewe
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Nuclear Submarine Moorings, Loch Ewe

A sea loch on the coast of Wester Ross, Highland Council Area, Loch Ewe is 10 miles (16 km) in length and lies between two peninsulas with the settlement of Poolewe at its head. The Isle of Ewe lies opposite Aultbea and Inverewe Gardens created by Osgood Mackenzie lie on an inlet to the east of Poolewe. Loch Ewe receives the River Ewe which flows northwestwards for just over 3 miles (5 km) from Loch Maree.

During World War II, convoys assembled here before setting sail for Arctic Russia and the loch was heavily defended with artillery, anti-aircraft guns, mines and anti-submarine nets. A memorial overlooks the loch and a ceremony in Poolewe in 2013 saw the long-overdue presentation of Arctic Star medals to 36 veterans of the convoys.

A NATO Petroleum, Oil, & Lubricants (POL) Depot was built next to the loch in 1963, with a jetty extending into the loch a mile (1.4 km) south of Aultbea. This facility was intended to provide fuel to UK and NATO ships and nuclear submarines during the Cold War in a secluded location. Although still operational, it has reduced considerably in importance.

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