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The Rentmeesterhoeve through history

Middle Ages to New Times

"In the castle of Reningelst lived family of Lady Di"

In the 1100s to 1200s, the Lords of Reningelst also bore the name "of Reninghelst". Presumably, they lived on a fortified farmstead near the church. It seems that the family de Cortewylle, (also lords of Watou) neglected their Reningelst seigniory. From 1527, the de Longueval family gradually converted this manor into a castle.

On 4 June 1608, the seigniory of Reningelst came into the possession of the Bulteel family, who converted the castle into a spacious residence decorated with lots of copper. Another branch of the Bulteel family had fled to England during the 16th century because of prevailing religious troubles in this region. It is in this branch that we must situate Louisa Emily Charlotte Bulteel (1828-1892), the great-great-grandmother of Lady Diana Spencer (1961-1997). Louisa Bulteel was married to Baron Edward Baring, director of the Bank of England. Their daughter Margaret married Charles Spencer, Lady Di's great-grandfather. Marie Elisabeth Bulteel, sister of Louisa, had close relations with the English royal family as honorary lady of Queen Victoria (1819-1901).

French revolution to the great war

"Only a looted mess remained"

On 6 September 1793, the French army, spying from nearby Black Mountain by the Austrian regime here, set fire to the castle. Count Albert François de la Basecque fled his domain and married in London the same year. When he returned on 24 April 1802, he found only a looted mess of `the 7 torres'. He died without descendants on New Year's Day 1840. In 1918, the attached windmill on the hill of the same name `Castle Mill' was burnt down by the British army. During the German offensive in March 1918, the Bulteel family tombstone in Reningelst church was badly damaged. British lieutenant-colonel Francis Mildway, son of Georgina Frances Bulteel (Louisa's other sister) had the family tombstone restored in Britain. After the war, it was fixed against one of the nut pillars of Reningelst church.

De Rentmeesterhoeve

"After restoration, the Rentmeesterhoeve will become unique lodging address in the Westhoek"

Today, only a remnant of the moat testifies, as well as the typical, rounded roof structure of the barn of the adjoining castle farm. In the village, the castle remains immortalised on a pen drawing and an oil painting whose masters and dates are unknown. The Verdonck family `managed' the current farm for many years. Since 2008, Filip and Ann Bekaert-Bouton run the restored "Rentmeesterhoeve" as a `bed and breakfast'. One of the rooms was christened 'Princess of hearts' there, with great respect for her ancestors, the Lords of Reningelst.


Reningelstplein 5
8970 Reningelst (Poperinge)

+32 477 37 92 86

BTW BE 0882.317.344

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