This is the first lock on the Newry Ship Canal. It was designed by Sir John Rennie and built by William Dargan in the 1840s. It was the entry point for larger sea going vessels to the Newry Canal from Carlingford Lough through Narrow Water. The Newry Canal was built to link the Tyrone coalfields (via Lough Neagh and the River Bann) to the Irish Sea at Carlingford Lough near Newry
The site was landscaped and the lock automated in May 2007, creating a lovely, peaceful, sheltered picnic site with access to Newry and the Albert Basin for pleasure boats at high tide.
Across the road there is a lovely walking route, using Forest Service paths, zigzagging through Fathom Forest to the top of the Flagstaff where you can see stunning panoramic views of the Ring of Gullion, the Lough and the Mourne Mountains. Plans are in place to link the Portadown to Newry Canal footpath and cycleway to the East Coast Greenway that currently stops in nearby Omeath village. The link will hopefully give cyclists and pedestrians the unique experience of travelling the Middlebank that delineates the canal from Carlingford Lough, rejoining true dry land at Victoria Lock and heading on into medieval Carlingford. The first part of this greenway was opened to the public in May 2018 and runs from Albert Basin in Newry to Victoria Locks.
The maximum size of vessel that can enter Newry Ship Canal is 200 ft (60 metres) in length x 33 feet (10 metres) in width, to suit the size of the Lock chamber at Victoria Locks.