Scarva is a picturesque village situated among the Drumlin countryside bordering County Down and County Armagh.
The Newry Canal, which runs between Carlingford Lough and Lough Neagh, was built over a nine year period from 1742. It is the oldest man made waterway in the British Isles. The existence of Scarva is due to the construction of the canal bridge. The bridge which stands today was built in 1744, however, it incorporates many parts of the bridge built previously to this date. The village developed as an important trade and commercial centre around 1746 . Newry Canal and its towpath navigates its way through a natural trough in a part of the countryside, which abounds in interesting places and stories guaranteed to fascinate any traveller. It operated for over 200 years until was replaced by the development of the railway industry, which led to its closure in 1947.
The area boasts magnificent archaeological sites such as the Dane’s Cast and Lisnagade Fort. In June 1690, an army of 30,000 men camped in the Scarva area for training before marching on to meet the forces of King James at the Battle of the Boyne on 12th of July 1690. Whilst training his army, King William is said to have camped under a magnificent Spanish chestnut tree. The tree still flourishes to this day and measures over 25 feet in circumference at the base. Each year, a Sham Fight takes place on the 13th of July on the old training ground used.
Scarva Visitor Centre is located at the dock on the Canal where vast quantities of coal were unloaded for use in the local linen industry. The centre helps to explain the building of the Canal, its trade and Scarva’s role within this. Linked to this development, the Towpath has been restored from Newry to Portadown passing on the way Acton Lake and the quaintly named Tally-Ho Bridge at Terryhoogan Locks. This Ulster Way is extremely popular for cyclists and walkers alike and Sinton’s at the Bridge is immediately adjacent to this towpath.
Scarva’s floral displays have won Britain in Bloom awards consecutively for the past 10 years. Numerous visitors are attracted by the splendid colours and the music from the bandstand on summer Sunday afternoons. These make Scarva and Sinton’s at the Bridge an ideal destination to spend an enjoyable afternoon.
29 Poyntzpass Road
Scarva, BT63 6LE
028 3831 8206
33 Mullabrack Rd
028 3883 2752