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Newtownstewart Castle.
County Tyrone

 


Newtownstewart Castle.
 

After The Flight of the Earls in 1606 the English declare all lands owned by the Earls forfeit and granted them to English settlers, the area in County Tyrone where Newtownstewart Castle now stands were granted to a James Clapham, who promptly sold them to to Sir Robert Newcomen. As part of the terms of plantation it was required that the settlers built a castle, work on Newtownstewart Castle was begun in 1615 and completed in 1622 it was described on its completion thus.

“A castle of lime and stone, 4 stories high. Around it is a Bawn of lime and stone, 81 feet long, 66 feet long and 9 feet high, with 2 flankers.”

Seven years later in 1629 the castle and land were bought by Sir William Stewart, of Galloway, Scotland, Stewart gave the town its present name Newtownstewart. The castle was attacked and captured by by Sir Phelim O' Neill during the 1641 rebellion, during the Williamite Wars Newtownstewart Castle and the town were burnt on the orders of James II, possibly during his retreat from The Siege of Derry the same fate befell Newry castle and town.

All that remain of Newtownstewart Castle at the foot of Main Street in the town are the triple south gable wall standing to its origional height with a few of the internal walls in one of which is a mullioned window which may date from a later renovation. During conservation work in 1999 a Bronze Age burial cist was discovered, this contained two large decorated urns complete with cremation material.