Hernen Castle, locally known as Kasteel Hernen, lies in the village with the same name, in the Gelderland province in the Netherlands.
Hernen Castle started out as a tower house probably in the 14th century, because the Lords of Hernen were first mentioned in a document in 1247. This tower-house stood at the southeast corner of a rectangular bailey. The defence wall of the bailey was some 2,5 meters thick and had three corners towers beside the tower-house. This defence wall was equipped with crenellations, arrow loops, a wall walk on arches and a moat circling the castle.
With the passing of time the need arose for more room for servants, soldiers and new family members. Therefore several buildings were built against the inside of the defence wall of the bailey, thus reducing the size of the bailey. The arches supporting the wall walk however can still be seen in some of the rooms. Hernen Castle has a covered wall walk which makes it unique in the Netherlands.
In 1682 the castle was auctioned and became the property of a Philip Hendrik van Steenhuys. Later the castle went to the families De Béthune and D'Ennetieres. These families from the Southern Netherlands (present-day Belgium) weren't very interested in their castle in Hernen and almost never visited it so they didn't modernize the castle. This saved its medieval appearance although the moat at the eastern side of the castle was filled in.
The great tower-house however which formed the origin of Hernen Castle is now gone. It was still standing at the beginning of the 19th century, but when the first pictures of Hernen Castle were taken about 1890 it was gone. What happened to it is recorded nowhere. Probably it collapsed during a winter storm due to the fact that its late-medieval occupants had cut out the walls from the inside to gain space and so had weakened the walls of the structure.
In 1940 the "Friends of the Castles of Gelderland"-foundation received ownership of the castle. They restored the castle in the following years.
The castle also got some fame due to the fact that it was used as a filming location for the Dutch youth television series "Floris", made in the 1960's, starring Rutger Hauer.
Hernen Castle now lies somewhat off the main routes and doesn't get very much visitors. In 2001 I got a 45 minute tour with two other visitors.
Part of the castle is now in use by a religious research foundation; the Brediusstichting.