Den Ham Castle
Den Ham Castle, locally known as Kasteel Den Ham or Hamtoren (Ham Tower), lies near the village of Vleuten in the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands. It can be seen from the railway line Woerden-Utrecht.
Den Ham Castle evolved from a tower house to a square castle. I don't know when it was built, because one source says a stone house at this site was first mentioned in 1325 and another one says it was build in the 12th century. Who can help me out?
It was the home of the Utenham family. The castle was severely damaged in 1481. And in 1482 one of their members; Frederik Utenham was beheaded when he had chosen the side of the bishop David of Burgundy in a conflict between the bishop and the citizens of Utrecht.
The keep, on a little islet, partly dates to the 13th century but was raised in 1642. It is now 7 storeys high, 10 meters long and 9 meters wide. The thickness of its walls varies from 1.40 m to 1.80 m. Beneath it is a vaulted cellar in which remains of a fireplace and a prison were found. Above this cellar the storeys had wooden floors. They all had fireplaces. The first floor seems to have been the kitchen because the remains of a sink were found there. But in 1870 the entire castle was torn down except the 27 meter high keep we see today. Southeast of the keep there are remains of the medieval extensions of which traces can be seen on the outside of the keep. In 1943 the roof of the keep was made impermeable to rainwater to prevent further damage.
The castle has stood empty for quite some years but is now privately inhabited and can thus not be visited.