Egmond Castle, locally known as "Slot op den Hoef", originally consisted of a moated, square main castle and a moated, rectangular outer ward with a strong gate house. Only a fragment of the square "Rentmeester"-tower, which was part of the west wall of the outer ward, is still standing.
In 1203 a Wouter van Egmond built a stone, circular castle with a diameter of 27 meters. It had a strong keep at its southside and its curtain wall had a wall-walk on arches. This stronghold, which existed until the end of the 15th century, mostly served as a place for refuge in times of peril. The residential buildings stood on an outer ward surrounded by a wooden palisade.
Around 1285 a Willem van Egmond started the building of a new castle on the eastern side of the outer ward as a replacement for the old castle. At the same time he built a new rectangular outer ward on the western side of the old ward.
After this castle was destroyed by the Frisians in 1321, Jan I van Egmond rebuild the castle. Around 1400 a canal was dug to Alkmaar making the castle reachable by boat. Also a harbour was constructed at the north eastern side of the castle. In the 15th century, Jan III, the first Count of Egmond and counsellor of Maria van BourgondiÃ«, enlarged, renovated and embellished the castle. The moat between the castle and the outer ward became known as the "pond" as it was closed off at the northern and southern side by gates . The outer ward was equipped with an imposing gatehouse with four cornertowers.
In 1573 however the castle was set on fire by the troops of Diderick Sonoy on orders of Willem van Oranje, to prevent the Spanish from capturing this strategic site. From then on the castle remained a ruin. In 1798 the castle ruins were sold and demolished with exception of the "Rentmeester"-tower. In 1832 however this tower also was largely torn down after which the foundations of Egmond Castle slowly disappeared under shifting sands.
In the 1930's the castle's foundations were excavated. It lay as an small island in a marsh full of rushes and reed. As the excavations were carried out as part of unemployment relief works a lot of findings weren't properly analyzed and a lot of details were lost. They did however discover the earliest, circular castle, which was unsuspected at the time, and a lot of natural stone ornaments, iron and copper weapons and pottery. The foundations were then run up to 30-40 cm above ground level using stones found at the site.
Nowadays it isn't a very exiting site but the castle's layout is clearly recognized. The site is freely accessible.