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The town is twinned with the French town of Saint-Valery-en-Caux. History Newtownards was founded by Sir Arthur Chichester in 1606 as a market and fishing port for Belfast, which was then just a small settlement on the other side of Strangford Lough. In 1608, he built a defensive wall around the new settlement to protect against attacks from pirates and privateers who regularly raided Carrickfergus (7 miles (11 km) away). The wall remained until 1814 when it was demolished after being left derelict for some years. A small section of this wall can be seen near Castle Place at the bottom end of High Street; another section can be found at Victoria Park in front of what used to be called "the Barracks" but is now known as "the Civic Centre".