Hackfort Manor was originally a keep that was expanded into a castle in the 13th century. It was destroyed by Spanish troops in 1586 and rebuilt in 1600. It is one of the best preserved fortified stately homes in the province of Gelderland.
The most famous descendant of the Van Hackfort line was Berent (1475-1557). In 1502, he entered the service of the Duke of Guelders and even became commander and deputy to the duke. He also held various posts in the duchy; everything from sheriff to steward. At the time, the Duke of Guelders was at war with the Spanish Habsburg ruler and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, in an attempt to protect his duchy from the Habsburgs. When the Duchy of Guelders finally lost its independence in 1543, Berent was among those who signed the treaty. Berent lived to the age of 80 and his tomb can still be seen in the church in Vorden.
In 1585, Spanish troops conquered the city of Zutphen and the region turned into a battleground. It was plundered and burned by friend and foe alike and during a failed attempt by the Maurice of Nassau’s Dutch States Army to win back Zutphen, Hackfort Castle was destroyed by the Spaniards. It wasn’t until 1591 that Prince Maurice managed to reclaim Zutphen so that the region could slowly start to recover.
In 1788, Hackfort Castle underwent substantial renovations. The old gate house and outbuildings were demolished and the canals were filled in. The castle was transformed into an 18th-century manor house. Today, only the two towers serve as reminders of the former castle. In 1981, Hackfort Manor passed to The Netherlands Natural Heritage Society (Natuurmonumenten) and the house, coach house and watermill have since been restored and opened to the public. Hackfort Manor’s lovely estate is open to the public as well and the natural heritage society is currently working hard to restore the gardens to their original condition.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.