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Tourist trail to link key sites in history of Orangeism – and there’s big plans for Scarva too!

Sloan House, Loughgall

Plans are in the pipeline for a new tourist trail of key sites associated with Orangeism.

County Armagh is the birthplace of the Orange Order, which now has lodges and brethren all over the world.

Now the Co Armagh Development Association has approached Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council in the hope of attracting more tourists to the area.

Just last year a new state-of-the-art Sloan’s House Museum was opened in Loughgall and contains artefacts linked to the long history of the Orange Order.

The Association wants to establish a specific tourist trail as a key visitor attraction.

It would include sites such as Sloan’s House, Dan Winter’s Cottage, where the first warrants were signed, and the Battle of the Diamond.

Early indications have put the cost of such a trail in the region of £330,000.

An economic appraisal would be required and it is expected an application made for funding.

There are also major plans for another village with very close links with the Orange Order and, indeed, the Royal Black Institution.

A planning application in the name of Scarva and District Cultural Society is currently under consideration.

The Society is hoping to get approval for an extension and internal alterations to the Orange Hall at Main Street in the village.

It aims to provide a new community hall, together with office and meeting rooms and exhibition space.

The ABC Council has been told that the indicative costs for the new exhibition centre would be in excess of £400,000 and again an economic appraisal would be required.

It would allow the Society to promote the rich local history and attract visitors.

The annual Scarva Day celebrations – organised by the Royal Black Institution in the village on the Thirteenth of July – attracts visitors from all over the world.

The estate at Scarvagh House features heavily in the Williamite trail, with links with countries such as the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

It is said that within the village demesne, in which Scarvagh House sits, there is a chestnut tree under which King William III camped, en route to the Battle of the Boyne.

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