Water castle of the Lords of Stevoort
The former water castle of the Lords of Stevoort, now called “Mariaburcht”, would have existed already in the 11th century in a primitive shape: a fortress with a lift bridge.
The oldest known resident is Arnold van Steynvoorde, who was in 1364
a liege lord of the Count of Loon. In the 16th century, the castle came in the possession of the family Salm- De Rougraeve : they built the south eastern corner tower of the castle. When the family de Libotton became the new owners in 1701, they rebuilt and restored the whole castle: the wall clamps in the north eastern tower are silent witnesses of those days.
The castle as it looks now dates from 1769: a date which can be found on the bridge in front of the entrance gate. In 1826 the family Palmers de Terlaemen bought the property: this family dominated the village for decades.
In 1922 the castle was for sale.
The provincial government thought this was the ideal location to start up a domestic science school.
The lord of the castle ordered Hyacintus Martens in 1910 to build this small castle.
The family sold the large castle and settled here. Antoine Palmers lived here until 1950, whereafter he left for the village of Terlaemen.
The school committee became the new owner and the Sisters of Berlaar, who ran the nearby primary school, became the new residents.
A couple of years ago the caste was sold again and accommodates nowadays a tavern/restaurant.
This water mill, with metal undershot wheel, on the river de Herk, was already mentioned in 1237, and underwent many renovations. The mechanism is still there.
The mill runs once and a while “loose” and is a restaurant nowadays.