The way of life of the Strabane area was dealt a major blow by the coming of the Anglo-Normans to Ulster in 1177. This region was never settled by them but they attacked Ardstraw in 1197 and raided through the area again in 1199. One of the innovations they introduced to the island was the construction of mottes – timber palisade forts on top of a steep man made hill. This structure in Newtonstewart was constructed in the same fashion at a strategic bend in the River Strule. It appears to have been constructed much later, however, and was occupied up to the end of the Sixteenth century. The foundations of a rectangular stone castle have been recorded on top of the mound, though these can’t be seen today.