Stein Castle, locally known as Kasteel Stein, lies south of the town of the same name, in the province of Limburg in the Netherlands.
The castle consists of an, 8 meter high, motte, which is called the 'Bovenste Slot' (Upper Castle) and the bailey, which is called the 'Benedenste Slot' (Lower Castle). The entire site is moated.
In 1220 there probably stood a predecessor of Stein Castle at this site but it left no traces. The present castle was probably built by Arnold III, whose family came from nearby Elsloo Castle, during the early 13th century. The white keep, 16 meter high with over 3 meter thick walls, is the largest remnant of this early castle. It was equipped with a pit prison and the Gothic window we see today, was the former entrance to the keep.
In 1408 Stein Castle was sieged during a war between its owner, Willem van Brederode, and the town of Aachen (in present-day Germany). In 1451 the castle was extended by its new owner Jan van Heinsberg with, amongst other things, the red, brick tower next to the gate tower.
In 1605 the castle was sieged and damaged. The castle was restored during the 17th and the first part of the 18th century. Between 1641 and 1740 the castle was owned by the Counts of De Merode.
In the second half of the 18th century the castle fell into disrepair and became uninhabitable. Its residents moved to the buildings on the bailey. The present bailey dates back to the 18th and 19th century.
In 1917 Stein Castle was sold at a public auction. The motte with the castle ruin was bought by a wood merchant, who used it for wood production and was planning to tear down the ruin. In 1919 the town council of Stein prohibited this. In 1921 the entire complex was bought by the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Hart. They used the buildings on the bailey as a study centre. They also carried out some archeological excavations of the castle ruins on the motte in 1923 and some consolidation work in 1936. From 1975 till 1984 several restoration works were carried out to preserve the ruins.
A visit to this nice castle ruin is recommended. You can climb both the keep and the red tower and take a look in the remaining cellars. The buildings on the bailey are turned into expensive private apartments.