Digest>Archives> November 1998

The Rua Reidh Lighthouse

By Annmarie Urso Rosa


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The 1838 Windmill Point Lighthouse that was ...

Rua Reidh, which can also be found spelled Rubh'Re, is situated on a remote peninsula on the West Coast of Sutherland at the entrance to Loch Ewe in the Northwest Scottish Highlands. This distant, remote lighthouse was the scene of a daring World War II rescue of an American Liberty Ship.

During a winter storm the William H. Welch missed the entrance to Loch Ewe and went ashore at Black Bay. There were 74 men on board. Two of the Keepers from Rua Reidh Lighthouse traversed peat bogs in slush and snow to rescue the survivors. The fourteen survivors most surely would have perished if they had not been rescued by these brave lighthouse keepers.

Engineers David and Charles Stevenson, cousins of Robert Lewis Stevenson, built the lighthouse in 1910. It became fully automated in 1986 and is run by the Northern Lighthouse Board. There are spectacular views of the Isle of Skye and the Western Isles from across the seas of the Minch.

If you are brave enough to traverse the final three miles of the road to the lighthouse, you will be rewarded with spectacular views, a variety of animal and plant life, and the obligatory roaming sheep. Dolphins, seals and otters are quite frequently seen from the shores of the lighthouse as well.

This story appeared in the November 1998 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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