Stewart Castle

Stewart Castle

Newtownstewart Castle, locally also known as Stewart Castle, lies in the town of Newtownstewart, in County Tyrone, in Northern Ireland.

Stewart Castle is a Plantation castle built after the Irish earls fled Ireland following their defeat in battle by English forces in 1607. The English crown forfeited all the earls lands and in turn granted it to English and Scottish gentry. They were required to built a castle on their estate. Newtownstewart Castle was built in 1615 by Sir Robert Newcomen. In 1622 his castle was described as built out of lime and stone, 4 stories high, encircled by a bawn with 2 flankers.

In 1629 the castle was sold to Sir William Stewart, of Newtown Stewart in Galloway, Scotland, who renamed the town and castle after his family and birthplace.

The castle was burned by Sir Phelim O’Neill in 1641 and again by King James in 1689, on his retreat from Londonderry. In the 19th century the castle was used as the town market place.

At present only its south west and north west walls and a little of the south east return survive. Its most distinctive feature are the triple gables, with the tall chimney over the smaller centre gable. The stepped gables are a Scottish feature while the 8-pointed, star-shaped brick chimney is derived from England. Other features include the mullioned windows, fireplaces, a circular projecting stair tower, and a rectangular tower at the north east corner; perhaps a flanker tower on the bawn wall.

In 1999 there was an archaeological excavation at Newtownstewart Castle. The excavation uncovered an undisturbed Bronze Age cist grave.

The ruin of Newtownstewart Castle is a striking feature in the centre of the town. It can be visited but was closed when we came by. To me it wasn’t a site to be seen in itself but was together with nearby

Post Author: Simon

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