We’ve been away for a few days, away to the Netherlands staying with our dear Dutch friends – more like family than friends! The weather was pretty horrid, but this didn’t stop us having a wonderful time, not doing much except for a lot of chat, a lot of laughing, two parties and lunch at a castle. The castle is very near to where they live, and in fact they both work as volunteers, my friend as a tour guide, her husband doing odd jobs being a very handy handyman! Luckily on the day we arrived it wasn’t raining, and my friend and I went to the castle and had a lovely walk. We went round the outside of the castle and took a big loop through a woodland area, over the River Aa, admiring the scenery from a reconstruction of the sort of tower there might have been on a motte and bailey castle.
This is what Wikipedia says about the River Aa:
The Aa is a small river in the Netherlands. It rises near Nederweert in the south-eastern province of Limburg, in the Peel region. It flows northwest through the province of North Brabant towards ‘s-Hertogenbosch, roughly along the Zuid-Willemsvaart canal. In ‘s-Hertogenbosch, at the confluence of the Aa and the Dommel, the river Dieze is formed, which flows into the Maas a few kilometres further.
As you can see, the castle, Kasteel Heeswijk is a marvellous, almost fairy-tale castle, if I was a child I might very well expect that a princess lived there! It’s been on this site for nearly a thousand years, although there have been many, many changes over that time, as it’s first incarnation was a motte and bailey, erected in1080 – hence the nearby reconstruction which my friend and I climbed to admire the views. The original motte-and-bailey castle was erected in 1080. The earliest known Lord of Heeswijk was Amelricus whose name was recorded a hundred years later. However it wasn’t until the thirteenth century that it became known as Kasteel Heewijk.
We returned to the castle several days later and had a wonderful lunch there followed by a guided tour – our friend of course was the tour-guide! We were fortunate with the day we chose to visit because there were people who were in eighteenth costume just wandering about. They were doing various activities, playing chess with each other, playing the spinet, embroidering. It was too rainy to go outside but there is a wonderful Italian garden which it’s very pleasant to wander around when it isn’t too damp!
Here is a link to the castle’s page: https://www.kasteelheeswijk.nl/en/