In 1605, Hugh Montgomery was granted the lands and set about rebuilding what was by then known as Newtown, later expanded to Newtownards. Official records show the town was established in 1606. Montgomery built a residence in the ruins of the old priory, the tower of which remains. Scottish settlers arrived in large numbers and the town grew quickly.
It became a market town, with the Market House in Conway Square constructed in 1770. The market still operates today on a weekly basis.
Make Ards Visitor Information Centre your first stop for places to visit, where to stay, local events and where to eat during your visit to Ards Peninsula and Strangford Lough region. Situated beside the bus station and within a short walk of the town centre and the main shopping areas.
Ards Crafts, situated within the Visitor Information Centre, provides a showcase for the talents of local artists and craftspeople in a beautiful retail space. Available to purchase is an extensive range of handmade jewellery, ceramics, woodturning, pottery, textiles and much, much more.