The earliest mention of Kinkelenburg castle dates from 1403, when Johan van Ambe was lent 'a house and a homestead with waterways and moat at Bemmel'. The castle probably consisted then of a square stone tower-house (built around 1300), the foundations of which lie beneath the present building. Soon afterwards, the status of village castle was changed to the present 'Huis te Bemmel'. Kinkelenburg was converted in the 18th century into a stately manor. During WWII, the municipality commandeered the building as emergency accommodation for the damaged town hall in the Dorpsstraat. Kinkelenburg was the only big building in Bemmel that still had a watertight roof.
After the war, the municipality decided to remain here, but the ruined castle would first have to be restored. Despite its impressive history, the restorers found nothing more of historical interest than a few coins in the attic and a dented tin can in the ditch.
The interior now has beautiful wall panels, acquired for a nominal price from the Huize Heyendaal, Nijmegen, and originating from an Amsterdam canalside house. A ceiling painting by Hubert Estourgie (1924-1982) tells about the origin of the Betuwe region.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.