Poeke Castle was built in 1875 to the site of older castle. Standing in 56 hectares (140 acres) of park, it is surrounded by water and is accessible through bridges at the front and rear of the building.
It is unknown when the first fortification was constructed at Poeke, but references to it appear from 1139 onwards. The castle played a prominent role during the conflict between Count Louis II of Flanders and the city of Ghent in 1382. In the same year Eulaard II of Poeke died at the battle of Beverhoutsveld when he attempted to stop the Ghent militia, who by then had already taken his fort.
During the revolt of Ghent in 1452 against Philip the Good, the castle was taken by the Ghent militia. On 5 July 1452 Philip retook it, and had the Ghent militia present executed and the castle destroyed. The rebuilding most likely took over a century. After the death of Jan III of Poeke in 1563, the lordship became the possession of the de Mastaing family, distant relatives of the lords of Poeke. Jean de Jauche, lord of Mastaing, sold the lordship in 1588 to Philibert Delrye. His son Christoffel Delrye sold the lordship in 1597 to Jean de Preudhomme of Lille.
Markus-Antonius de Preudhomme d'Hailly carried out rebuilding activities from 1658 to 1664, and in 1671. Whether these activities were effective is unknown, as sources from this period are lacking. Later, Charles Florent Idesbald de Preudhomme d'Hailly carried out significant work on the castle between 1743 and 1752.
In 1872, Baron Victor Pycke de Peteghem (1835–1875), from Oudenaarde, bought the estates. He immediately initiated rebuilding works that lasted until 1875. The third storey was integrated into a higher roof, and the interior and the gardens were renovated. There remain hardly any elements dating from before 1872. Additionally, the French garden was turned into an English garden.
The Baron's last descendant, burgemeester and Baroness Ines Pycke de Peteghem, was the last resident and owner of the castle. In her will she bequeathed the entire estate to the National Work of Catholic School Colonies), who came into possession of it after her death in 1955. In 1977 the castle and its 56 ha park became the property of the municipality of Aalter, which now uses it for cultural meetings and festivities. It was used as a location for filming interior and exterior scenes for the 2012 BBC/HBO production of Parade's End.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.