Scrabo Tower

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Scrabo Tower
Scrabo Tower, from across Strangford Lough.

Scrabo Tower is located to the west of Newtownards in County Down, Northern Ireland. Built in the 1850s as a memorial to the Marquess of Londonderry it was originally and formally known as the 'Londonderry Monument',[1] the turreted tower is a noted landmark[2] and stands 540 feet (160 m) above sea level and is 125 feet (38 m) high.[3]


The landmark, which is visible from most of north Down, was built above Newtownards in 1857 as a memorial to Charles Stewart, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry who was one of the Duke of Wellington's generals during the Napoleonic Wars. The 3rd Marquess, or "Fighting Charlie" as he was also known, inherited the title and family seat of Mount Stewart after his brother, the 2nd Marquess, committed suicide, the 2nd Marquis is better known as Viscount Castlereagh, the politician who served a term as Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

The tower was built to designs attributed to Charles Lanyon and WH Lynn,[4] and now stands in a country park.[5]


The tower houses two floors of displays, with access to a viewing level via a climb of 122 steps;[2] in April 2014, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency said that the tower had suffered "serious water ingress", which had damaged the electricity supply, and citing concerns for visitor safety, advised that the tower would close to visitors.[6] By 2015, the tower opened occasionally,[7] and by July 2017 was fully reopened to the public.[8]

Scrabo Country Park, in which the tower stands is also open to the public, and has several woodland walks and parkland through Killynether Wood, the view from the hill extends across Strangford Lough, scattered with its many islands, to the Mountains of Mourne and the Scottish coast.[9] Scrabo Golf Club is overlooked by the tower and park.

Cultural references[edit]

Scrabo Tower was the inspiration for 'the Tower of Trufandom' in The Enchanted Duplicator[10] by Walt Willis and Bob Shaw.[11]


  1. ^ "The History of Scrabo Tower - Guardian of the North Down coast". Retrieved 7 April 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Scrabo Tower: County Down monument closed to the public". BBC News. 22 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "1857 – Scrabo Tower, Newtownards, Co. Down". Archiseek. 
  4. ^ "DIA entry for Scrabo Tower". Dictionary of Irish Architects. Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Scrabo Tower and Country Park". Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Scrabo Tower shut for foreseeable future". UTV News. 22 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Scrabo Tower - for EHOD 2015 - European Heritage Open Day cultural event - 12-13 September". Northern Ireland Tourist Board. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Scrabo Tower reopens to the public". BBC. 7 July 2017. 
  9. ^ "Department of Environment Northern Ireland > Landscape Character Areas > Scrabo Landscape". Department of the Environment Northern Ireland. 17 October 2006. 
  10. ^ Willis, Walt; Shaw, Bob (February 1954). "'The Enchanted Duplicator'". Retrieved 25 February 2009. 
  11. ^ Nielsen Hayden, Patrick and Teresa (August 1987). "'Aspects and Inclinations' - Hyphen magazine - Number 37". Hyphen. Retrieved 1 May 2008. 

Coordinates: 54°34′48″N 5°42′56″W / 54.58010°N 5.7155°W / 54.58010; -5.7155