Belturbet location is at one of the best places for crossing the River Erne. When the Anglo-Normans tried to conquer Cavan in the early 13th century, Walter de Lacy built a motte-and-bailey on Turbot Island. The fort was probably made of wood and it hasn't survived, though the steep mound of earth where it was built is still to be seen.
In the 17th century Belturbet was developed by Stephen Butler, a planter from England. It became an important trading centre, and it also had an English garrison. Many of the original fortifications are in good repair. The town retains much of its original lay-out. The main street leads to the square or 'diamond' where all of the town's important buildings are situated. The parish church dominates the sky-line; some of it dates from the early 17th century, and it was one of the first Anglican churches built in Ireland.
In 1760 John Wesley passed through and noted a town in which there is neither Papist nor Presbyterian; but, to supply that defect, there are Sabbath-breakers, drunkards, and common swearers in abundance. </blockquote>