The design for the Westport was commissioned in the 1780s by the John Browne of the nearby stately home, Westport House, as a place for his workers and tenants to live. The village of Westport originally consisted of thatched cabins and was situated on the front lawn of Westport House with a high street and little alleys leading down to the Carrowbeg River and a population of around 700. In the mid 18th century Sir John Browne decided to relocate the village 1500m inland to its current position and contracted the architect William Leeson to plan the town. A proposal announcing the new town of Westport appeared in the Dublin Journal, March 1767. Westport originates and gets its name, in Irish, from a 16th-century castle–Cathair na Mart (meaning: The Stone Fort of the Beeves or The City of The Fairs)–and surrounding settlement, belonging to the powerful local seafaring Ó Máille Clan, who controlled the Clew Bay area, then known as Umaill. Westport is designated as a heritage town and is unusual in Ireland in that it is one of only a few planned towns in the country The design of the town is attributed to James Wyatt, an English architect. He also completed Westport House, the stately home of the Marquess of Sligo and designed its dining room. Westport House had originally been built by Richard Cassels, the German architect, in the 1730s, near the site of the original Ó Máille Castle. The most notable feature of James Wyatt’s town plan is the tree-lined boulevard, the Mall, built on the Carrowbeg River In January 2008, Westport became Google Earth’s first fully 3D town, allowing virtual visitors stroll through the streets whilst sitting at their computers.