Ter Worm or Terworm Castle has existed since the 14th century and has been inhabited by several noble families. Originally it was a square building, fronted by a round tower and a rectangular tower and built around a walled courtyard. The first known owner was the Lord of Strijthagen in 1476, when the castle was a moated building fortified by external walls outside the moat. In 1498 the castle came into possession of the sheriff of Heerlen, Diederick van Pallandt. In 1542, the castle came into the possession of the Van Hallen family, and was destroyed by fire in 1550 but rebuilt in the same style. The rebuilding, completed by the Wijlre family, was done in brick and the building was painted white to disguise the difference in building materials. The castle remained in this family's possession until 1738, when Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Wylre, canon of Aachen, died. His possessions passed to Phillip Anton van der Heyden zu Belderbusch.
In 1767 the castle was restored by Count Maximilian van der Heyden-Belderbusch and the gardens laid out in the French rococo style. In 1840 the castle was inherited by Antoinette von Böselager, who was married to Baron Otto Napoleon Loë-d'Imstenraedt. After her death, the castle came into possession of the baron. His family extended the estate by purchasing many neighbouring farms.
In the late 19th Century the castle and the estate acquired its present appearance thanks to Baron François de Loë, who remodelled it in a neo-Gothic style to the plans of Lambert de Fisenne. Throughout most of the 20th century, the castle and its estate were in the hands of the Orange-Nassau mine, and the castle housed some of their staff. In the castle grounds at that time was a large outdoor swimming pool, in which whole generations of the people of Heerlen learned to swim. After the closure of the mine the government suggested that a major theme park should be founded on the estate, an idea squashed by the people of Heerlen after a large-scale and widely supported protest. In the last decades of the twentieth century the castle became very run down until it was bought by the Van der Valk hotel chain, who restored it in 1997-1999. It is a now a hotel and restaurant.
The present building dates largely from the 17th century when the original 15th-century fortified building was converted into a house. It comprises two wings in a T-shaped floor plan surrounded by a moat. The main building is accessible at the front via a marl stone bridge dating from 1843 leading to the main entrance. Between the two wings is a corner tower, which is the oldest part of the castle dating back to the 15th century. Originally round, the tower was converted to an octagonal in the 17th century . The west wing can be dated to 1716, while the south wing has a keystone with the year 1718. The castle garden is a reconstruction based on a French rococo garden laid out by Count Vincent van der Heyden-Belderbusch in 1787 with roses, lavender and boxwood. The garden is a favourite wedding location and admission is free.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. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.