- 300 year history
- Fishing and hunting lodge
- Early nineteenth-century court house
- Home to Osgood Mackenzie
- WWII Naval HQ
- Highland Fieldcraft Training Centre
A Brief History of Pool House
Pool House is an historic house dating back 300 years. Formerly a Clan Mackenzie fishing and hunting lodge, it has a commanding location at the head of Loch Ewe and alongside the River Ewe.
In the early 1800’s it was used as a Court House where local miscreants would be no doubt dealt with harshly for even minor offences.
Osgood Mackenzie lived in Pool House whilst creating his world famous sub-tropical “Inverewe” Garden across the bay which he began in the early 1860’s. His marriage to an English heiress, Minna Amy Edwards-Moss, was not happy and the relationship broke down within three years, although they did have a daughter, Mairi. Osgood’s attempt to divorce Minna scandalised Victorian society and was widely reported in the newspapers. Eventually the court case was taken to the House of Lords. Osgood was unable to prove that Minna was an unfit wife and the court ruled he must remain married to her. Osgood built a baronial Scottish house within Inverewe Garden and left Minna residing in Pool House where she carved the bannister rail of the main stair with English Tudor roses, presumably to annoy her Highland husband. Twelve years later, Osgood’s house was destroyed by fire.
During WWII Pool House was requisitioned by the armed forces and became the Command Headquarters of the Russian Arctic and North Atlantic Convoys that departed from Loch Ewe. Although predominantly used by the Royal Navy, there was also a small contingent of RAF looking after the barrage balloons that were protecting the loch from aerial attack. Lord Rowallan was also in the house as commanding officer of the Highland Field Training Regiment. The HFTC was formed to put officers through rigorous training in mountain areas and winter conditions to prepare them physically for battle. Pool House still retains its links to this era and WWII veterans and their families continue to visit. The Russian Convoy Club bell hangs in one of the public rooms and our rooms have been named after warships that took part in this theatre of war.