Ravesteyn Castle, locally known as Kasteel Ravesteyn, lies in the village of Heenvliet, in the province of South Holland in the Netherlands.
Ravesteyn Castle was, judging by the size of the bricks used, probably built around 1250. It was built as the central strength in a group of 5 castles. The other 4; Bleydestein, Wyelestein, Leeuwesteyn and Blickstein, were more like fortified houses and lay in a circle around Ravesteyn Castle. Nothing of the other 4 castles remains.
Ravesteyn Castle was built by Hugo, Lord of Heenvliet, and consisted of a rectangular (11 by 14 meters) keep with 4 projecting corner towers. The keep had two floors and a cellar, a wall walk and crenellations. Its walls were 2,4 meters thick and there was a spiral staircase in the southeastern tower. The 3 other towers were only accessible through the wall walk and had purely military functions.
Halfway through the 14th century the Lord of Heenvliet built a residential wing on the east side of the keep which caused the moat to be repositioned. This new addition to the castle however, burned down at the end of the 14th century but was quickly rebuild on its foundations. Around 1450 there even was another residential wing built against the south side of the castle which also caused for some alterations to the keep; it's obvious that its military function diminished in favour of more comfortable living conditions.
Around 1500 the southwestern tower was renovated and its cellar turned into a prison. It is said that in that cellar the Catholic priest and freethinker, Angelus Merula, was imprisoned around 1550 for criticizing the Catholic church. He died at the stake for heresy in 1557.
In 1572 Ravesteyn Castle was set alight by the Watergeuzen (Sea Beggars) and destroyed as a result. This was done to prevent the castle from being used by the Spanish. It was never rebuild. What we see today is the ruin of the keep and the foundations of the residential wings. The ruin is picturesquely situated on a little island in a large garden. It's privately owned. It can be visited for a small fee as part of a garden with statues.