The Plantation of Ulster
6 Counties – Donegal Armagh Fermanagh Derry Tyrone and Cavan
This was the taking over of Irish lands from Gaelic Chiefs such as the O’Donnells by the British when James 1 was King. The lands were given to people who came over from Great Britain and were known as planters. The first arrived in 1606 but the official plantation happened in 1609.
King James wanted Ulster to be settled with Protestants and not with an Irish speaking and Catholic population. He believed that colonising Ulster with loyal British subjects would pacify and civilise Ulster.
Before the plantation there were few towns in Ulster.
King James believed that towns were an important part of the plantation and planned to build 14 of these in Ulster and set land aside for them.
They were founded so that planters could buy and sell goods, have somewhere to go if the Irish attacked and hold courts to try people who broke the law.
The centre of each town was a large open area in the shape of a square or a triangle called the diamond and had roads leading off from it at either each side or each corner.
Sometimes a wall was built around the bigger towns as protection protect from Irish attackers.