Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp
M29
Berg en dal
1000

Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp

Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp
Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp
Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp
Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp
Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp
Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp

On the Duivelsberg (Devil’s Mountain) stand two mottes: large earthen hills on which once stood wooden palisades with a tower.

Mergelp
A motte is the primitive forerunner of the medieval castle. This particular motte is known by the name ‘Mergelp’ and was probably constructed by count Balderik and his wife Adela around the year 1000. Adela was the oldest daughter of Count Wichman of Hamaland, an uncle of Emperor Otto II. Through the marriage of Adela to Immed, the latter became the new Count of Hamaland. Entirely in keeping with medieval tradition, Adela’s younger sister, Liutgard, was destined for the religious life. She became abbess in the convent of Elten, founded by her father.

Dispossessed
Much more property was bestowed on the convent in Elten than on Adela and Immed. For many years, Adela fought this injustice and did not hesitate to take up arms. After the death of Immed, Adela married Balderik, who then became the new Count of Hamaland. The inheritance issue was only settled after 30 years, following the intervention of the Emperor.

Shire of Hamaland
It is no coincidence that Balderik had a motte built on the Duivelsberg. This was the most southerly point of the shire of Hamaland. Previous counts protected their land by constructing ring-wall defences, but by the year 1000 they were building mottes. Motte Mergelp is a fine example of these. Other mottes of the shire of Hamaland are the Duno, Uddel and Montferland. Why Mergelp consists of two mottes is unclear.

Archaeology
After his death in 1021, Balderik was buried in the cloister he had founded in Zyfflich, less than two kilometres from the motte. Archaeological research also shows that the motte was barely in use, if at all, in the 11th century. Perhaps it was abandoned soon after the death of Balderik. The Duivelsberg became overgrown, giving rise to horror tales in the course of the Middle Ages.

Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp
Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp
Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp
Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp
Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp
Berg en Dal – Motteburcht Mergelp

Motteburcht Mergelp

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