Schierstins Tower, locally known as the Schierstins, lies in the village of Veenwouden, in the province of Friesland in the Netherlands.
Schierstins Tower was probably built around 1300 as a tower house. It was first mentioned in 1439 when it was owned by the Claercamp abbey near Rinsumageest. The abbey had obtained the tower some time earlier when it was known as Idszengha property.
The name Schierstins is explained as follows: the monks of Claercamp Abbey were wearing grey habits. An old word for the color grey is 'schier'. The word 'stins' is an old word, meaning stone house.
In the second half of the 16th century Schierstins Tower came into private hands. It was successively owned by the Mellema, Gerdes and Manger families. In 1814 it was owned by the mayor of Leeuwarden; Thijs Feenstra. Due to the addition of several buildings in the 16th and 17th century it had become a mansion by then.
At the end of the 19th century the tower had fallen into serious disrepair and demolition seemed the only option but in 1906 it was restored. Until 1960 the Schierstins tower and the adjoining buildings were used as a post office. Then the municipality of Dantumadeel became owner and all the buildings were restored to their 18th century appearance.
During its existence Schierstins Tower was rebuilt several times. Originally it would have been standing on a small hill but when the tower lost its military purpose in the 15th century the ground around the tower was dug out showing its arched foundations.
At present the tower is used for cultural purposes and houses a small museum.
It's worth your visit as it is really the only example of such a medieval tower house, in the northern provinces of the Netherlands, that can be seen in its original appearance.