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Motte-and-bailey castle "The Klinkenberg"

The Klinkenberg today is a low mound surrounded by a shallow ditch. It is the remains of a motte, a castle dating from around 1225 -1250 built on an artificial mound. Such a mound had steep sides, usually built with the earth thrown up from digging the ditch, and could be up to four to six metres high. The Klinkenberg still has the remains of the somewhat lower precinct or bailey, the Keutershoogte, which give the ditch the shape of the character 8. The motte castle belongs to the oldest type of medieval fortifications. The name motte comes from the Latin word mota, or hill. A wooden tower might have stood on top of the hill with a wooden palisade around it. It would have served to control the road from Coevorden to Ruinen.

From the sky the moat that used to surround the motte is still clearly visible.


The Klinkenberg is cloaked in mystery. One story tells that a treasure chest lies hidden on top of the mound. On the stroke of noon the lid of the chest is supposed to open and close with a loud bang. According to tradition, robber knights began to build a castle there. At night they were chased off by farmers from Gees with flails and hayforks. But eventually the robber knights succeeded in raising their castle here.

Picture of a besieged motte castle on the Bayeux tapestry

Location of the  Klinkenberg (informationboard)

Coordinates: 52°44’44.3″N 6°39’16.6″E


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The Klinkenberg