[[Image:|240px|Garvagh is located in ]]
Garvagh shown within
|Population||Expression error: "1,288" must be numeric|
|- Belfast||50 miles|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Dialling code||028, +44 28|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|
|UK Parliament||East Londonderry|
|NI Assembly||East Londonderry|
|List of places: UK • Northern Ireland •|
Garvagh, (from Irish: Garbhachadh meaning "rough field"), is a town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is located on the banks of the Agivey River, 18 kilometres (11 miles) south of Coleraine on the A29 route. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 1,288 people. It is within the Coleraine Borough Council area. Garvagh is a significant service centre for the surrounding countryside, providing a wide range of services and considerable employment.
Garvagh was important from very early times, but was destroyed by fire during the Battle of Garvagh, and rebuilt as a Plantation town as its broad main street and neatly planned buildings evidence. It was founded in the early 17th century by George Canning from Warwickshire, agent for the Ironmonger’s Company of London, it was subsequently developed into a modest size market town by the Cannings. A striking feature of the town is the stone clock tower with an attractive clock and castellations which dominate the main route through the town and also which serves as the district cenotaph immortalising the dead of the two World Wars (1914–1918 and 1939–1945).
On 26 July 1813 the Battle of Garvagh took place. Four hundred Catholic Ribbonmen attempted to destroy a tavern in Garvagh where the Orange Lodge met. They were armed with sticks and bludgeons, but Protestants were waiting inside armed with muskets and repelled them. Several of the Ribbonmen were killed and the rest fled. The town has been immortalised in the famous Protestant folk-song "The Battle of Garvagh".
During the Troubles five people were murdered in or near Garvagh, all of them by the Provisional Irish Republican Army.
The Garvagh and District Development Association- GADDA undertook a project to modernise the town in the late 1990s and early 2000s by installing new water mains, upgrading road surfaces, improving pedestrian surfaces, new street lighting, a new community building and a new toilet block, which were funded through various support channels: the Coleraine Borough Council, The Ireland Fund of America, the EU and the British Government.
In August 2009, more than 20 windows in Catholic owned businesses including a public house, butchers’ shop and cafe were smashed some time around 3am. Police investigated the attacks as sectarian hate crimes.
Garvagh is classified as a village by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. with a population between 1,000 and 2,250 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 1,288 people living in Garvagh. Of these:
For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service
Garvagh railway station opened on 18 February 1880 and finally closed on 28 August 1950.
In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s there were two public schools in Garvagh. Garvagh Public Elementary School, which was the Presbyterian school, was at the Southerly end of the town. Garvagh Youth Club now occupies the premises.
In 1947 an Education Act was passed, changing education in Northern Ireland. This would be followed by the 1948 African act. Public Elementary schools were to be called Primary Schools, with pupils transferring at 11+ to Intermediate schools, Grammar schools, and Technical schools. This change took some time, as schools had to be planned and built. Garvagh Intermediate school opened in 1953. The primary school population fell as a result. Both primary schools continued to operate for some time, but eventually the Canning Primary School closed. Primary Education continued in Garvagh Primary School, but as housing development took place, the school could not cope with the numbers. Temporary accommodation was given in Garvagh Orange Hall.
In the grounds of Garvagh Intermediate School was the school, and Garvagh House, the former house of the Canning Family. In Garvagh House were flats for single female teachers, and some classrooms. The house had fallen into disrepair over the years, suffering from wet and dry rot, and vermin infestation. County Londonderry Education Committee decided to demolish Garvagh House and to build a new primary school on its site. This was duly done and Garvagh Primary School opened in 1965.
But further change was in store. In the early seventies, in education circles, ROSLA ("Raising of School Leaving Age") was constantly mentioned. This meant that Garvagh Intermediate school numbers would rise without adequate buildings to house the extra pupils. County Londonderry Education Committee decided that the existing primary school would become part of the intermediate school, and a new primary school would be built.
And so in April 1973, the new Garvagh Primary School opened. It was built on Ashe's Meadow. Where the gates are, was the site of the old cinema (AVON - which stood for Allies Victory over Nazis). The school was of a new design, with three wings. Each wing consisted of three classrooms, lavatories and an open area. Apart from the classroom for P1, the classrooms had no doors. This was referred to as open plan.