Video: West Flemish castle destroyed by fire
A fire has completely destroyed De Groote Castle in the West Flemish municipality of Houthulst. The castle has been empty for some time. The cause of the fire is as yet unknown. The Fire Service allowed the fire at the castle to burn out in a controlled manner in order not to endanger the forest that surrounds it.
The Westhoek Fire Service received a call alerting them to the fire at the castle just before 4 am on Friday morning.
The Kasteel de Groote on the Eugène de Grootelaan in Houthulst has been empty for years. The castle is surrounded by forest and as such it was important that the fire didn’t spread beyond the castle building.
Owned by a British family
The castle was built in 1848 and is owned by an British family. The building was used by the Germans during World War I.
The castle did not come out of the Great War unscathed, and it was rebuilt in 1920. Eugène de Groote, a former mayor of Houthulst, was among those to have lived at the castle.
It is not yet known whether the fire was started deliberately. An investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing. In recent years the castle has often been targeted by vandals. The castle and the land that surrounds it are owned by the White family from England.