The new colonial city of London/Derry

The plantation of County Derry was different; King James asked London businessmen to take on its plantation. These sent agents to Ireland, and they reported back that good profits could be made. Then the English companies, or guilds, which controlled twelve leading trades agreed to share out the land and bring settlers to it. Together they set up the "Irish Society", which changed the name from County Derry (formerly the County of Coleraine) to County Londonderry. The members also took charge of other towns in the county, and controlled customs and fisheries.

A major part of the Society's responsibilities was to build a new walled town on the site of the old Derry. A new charter for the new city was issued. Between 1614 and 1618 the walls encircling the site of the new plantation city were completed. The native Irish were kept outside the defensive walls, so they began to build homes on the nearby Bogside. The town itself became the most important town of the plantation, and the first planned town in Ireland. Today the walls survive almost intact and it is possible to walk along their full length of just over a mile. They are the most important surviving seventeenth century fortifications in the British Isles.

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