|County Armagh, County Down|
The level-crossing at Poyntzpass
|Council:|| Armagh, Banbridge|
The village covers the townlands of Tullynacross, Brannock, Federnagh and Loughadian. It has five churches, three public houses and two primary schools.
- Church of Ireland
- Roman Catholic
Historically, it is one of a few crossing points across a marsh stretching 25 miles from Lough Neagh to Carlingford Lough, following the course of a prehistoric glacial overflow channel from which it derives the second half of its name. The first half derives from Colonel Charles Poyntz.
The pass which gave name to the town is on a major route southwards and was named after Lieutenant Charles Poyntz from Gloucestershire who defended it against Hugh O'Neill, 3rd Earl of Tyrone in 1598.
The "Topographical Dictionary of Ireland" by Samuel Lewis, 1837 says:
"POYNTZPASS, or FENWICK'S PASS, a small town, partly in the parish of AGHADERG, barony of UPPER IVEAGH, county of DOWN, but chiefly in the parish of BALLYMORE barony of LOWER ORIOR, county of ARMAGH and province of ULSTER , 2¾ miles (S.W.) from Loughbrickland, to which it has a penny post; containing 660 inhabitants, of which number, 88 are in the county of Down. This place was formerly an encumbered pass through bogs and woods, from the county of Down into that of Armagh, and from the O'Hanlons' to the Magennises' country: it derives its present name from this important military position having been forced, after a desperate action, by Lieut. Poyntz, of the English army, with a few troops, against a numerous body of Tyrone's soldiers, for which service he was rewarded with a grant of 500 acres [2 km²] in this barony: there are some remains of the castle which formerly commanded the pass. At Drumbanagher are vestiges of the entrenchment surrounding the principal strong hold of the Earl of Tyrone, during his wars with Queen Elizabeth, called Tyrone's Ditches. Poyntz-Pass is now one of the most fertile and beautiful spots in this part of the country. To the south is Drumbanagher Castle, the handsome residence of Lieut.-Col. Maxwell Close, built in the Italian style, with a large portico in front; on an eminence above the town is Acton House, the elegant residence of C. R. Dobbs, Esq.; not far from which is Union Lodge, that of W. Fivey, Esq., in a beautiful demesne, bounded by the extensive waters of Lough Shark. That portion of the town which is in the county of Armagh was built about 1790, by Mr. Stewart, then proprietor, who procured for it a grant of a market and fairs; the former was never established, but the latter, held on the first Saturday in every month, are large and well attended, great numbers of cattle and sheep being sold. The town comprises 116 houses in one principal street, intersected by a shorter one. It contains the church for the district of Acton, a small neat edifice in the early English style, with a tower at the east front, built in 1789, and considerably enlarged and improved in 1829; a R. C. chapel, a school, and a constabulary police station."
A castle was once situated in Poyntzpass. Its remnants were visible until the middle of the 19th century, but there is now no trace of it other than in the name 'Castle Corner' by which a corner of William Street is sometimes known.
Poyntzpass railway station is on the Dublin-Belfast railway line.
The Newry Canal which flows through Poyntzpass follows the Armagh/Down border and was one of the first major canals to be constructed in Britain or Ireland. However, it never really fulfilled its promise to bring industry and prosperity and is long since derelict. Its summit level is one mile from the village at Acton Lake (Lough Shark).
- Poyntzpass Silver Band
- 'From Ireland' © Jane Lyons, Dublin, Ireland
- Landscapes Unlocked - Aerial footage from the BBC Sky High series explaining the physical, social and economic geography of Northern Ireland.
- The Meeting Place - Poyntzpass Community Centre.
- Poyntzpass Presbyterian Church