Castle of Hemsrode

In the course of the Xth Century, some monks of the Saint Peter's Abbey of Ghent settled in the swampy fields of Ansoldingehem. They developed fishing ponds over there in order to provide the inhabitants, weakened by malaria, with healthy food. These are the ponds that are nowadays surrounding the Castle of Hemsrode. The current Commune of Anzegem has originated in this very place.

The Lords of Hemsrode were indeed ruling one of the seven feudal entities within the district of Audenaerde, always being amongst the most powerful vassals of the Count of Flanders. After the family Hemsrode, came the Halewyn, Uitkerke, Borselen, Brederode, Lummene, Saint-Genois, du Jardin, du Mont de Sandoncq, Béchade and the Caters. These lords have been appointing the "Baljuws" and Aldermen for the Commune of Anzegem, all along the Ancient Regime.

Count François de Thiennes de Rumbeke bought the property of Hemsrode from Guillaume de Caters in 1787, thus becoming Lord of Hemsrode. His daughters lived there until 1850, when they ceded the castle and its surrounding estates to their nephew, Marquis Amédée de Calonne de Courtebourne, who has been Mayor of Anzegem for many years. He left only one daughter, Marie, who entered a convent. Marie de Courtebourne donated Hemsrode to her niece, Countess Louise de Limburg Stirum who gave it afterwards to Count Philippe de Limburg Stirum.

The latter got married in 1936 with Countess Isabelle de Liedekerke and was during many years Mayor of Anzegem.
In August 1940, the castle, then occupied by German forces, burnt down entirely. Only the Chapel and part of the furniture could be saved thanks to the courageous intervention of the villagers. After the war, Count Philippe de Limburg Stirum decided to convert the out-buildings built in 1642 in Louis XIII style into a residence wherein he moved with his family.

He devoted himself until his death in 1997, to the artistic decoration of this house which he donated to his daughter Marie-Hélène, wife of Benoit de Maere d'Aertrycke.

Mr. and Mrs. Benoit de Maere d'Aertrycke moved into the house in 1998. They have got five children, Charles-Louis, Constantin, Léopold, Ghislain and Mathilde. Like their ancestors, they take great care of preserving what makes this more than two-hundred years old family property, radiating such a particularly unique character.

The park and surrounding estates of Hemsrode form today an exceptional natural setting for the "Military Waregem" cross-country, to the great joy of 20.000 onlookers. The garden itself was designed in 1999 by architects P. Ingelaere and D. Eeman from Bruges.

Hemsrode is a property at human scale, where charm, beauty and simplicity altogether form a delicate balance exuding peace and rejoicing everybody's heart. An ideal peaceful oasis for your dinners, cocktail-parties and receptions.