Bornem Castle, also known as the De Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde Castle, stands on the Oude Schelde, a tributary of the Scheldt. The earliest fortification on the site was of the 10th or 11th centuries and was intended to defend against the incursions of the Normans. A later castle was built on the foundations of the older building in 1587 by the Spanish nobleman Pedro Coloma, lord of Bobadilla, a follower of Alexander Farnese. The property was afterwards leased by the family de Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde, who became the outright owners in 1773.
The present house was built on the same site at the end of the 19th century to plans by Hendrik Beyaert, after the remains of the 16th century building had been demolished. It remains in ownership of the house Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde, the current resident is John de Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde, 14th Earl of Bornem.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.