The Oud Poelgeest Estate is a historic country estate in Oegstgeest. The forest, which is already a national monument in itself (covering 10 acres), there are several national monuments, with the Castle from 1668 and the Coach House from the nineteenth century being the most prominent. Additionally, there is the gardener's residence, the neo-Gothic chapel (located along the canal between Leiden and Haarlem), the restored arched bridge, the monumental entrance gate, and a water well from 1550.
The Oud-Poelgeest Heritage Foundation holds the estate and its monumental buildings on a long lease from the municipality of Oegstgeest. The task is to maintain the entire property and keep it in good conditon. Since approximately 1985, the monuments have been gradually restored.
To generate funds for restoration and maintenance, the Castle and Coach House, including the expansion with 47 hotel rooms built in the 1970s, are rented out to the BV Kasteel Oud-Poelgeest, which operates the property as a hotel. The hotel emphasizes that every visit to the hotel contributes to the preservation of this unique cultural heritage.
The Oud-Poelgeest Estate is freely accessible to the public. The park, often in combination with the buildings, accommodates various outdoor activities, cultural events, guided tours, and school visits.
Board of the Oud-Poelgeest Heritage Foundation:
Dr. W. (Willem) Camphuis, Chairman
Mr. Drs. I.O. (Ivar) Svensson, Secretary
K.H. (Karel) van der Flier, Treasurer
Ir. M.A.C. (Marcel) van Dijk (maintenance and management of buildings)
J. (Jeroen) Schuit, Member (maintenance and management of the estate)
Restoration and maintenance of the national monuments are costly endeavors. The resources are primarily generated through the rental of the buildings. However, the Oud-Poelgeest Heritage Foundation also utilizes subsidies provided by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE), the Province of South Holland, and the Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund. The latter two are project-specific subsidies, such as the restoration of the Arched Bridge in 2014, the Drakenzaal in 2015/16, and significant parts of the landscape park, including the Spiegelvijver, Pinetum, and Boerhaave Park in 2016/17. The foundation also restored a jetty to reinstate the historical significance of the estate's location along the Trekvaart (especially during Boerhaave's time).
If you would like to support the preservation of the castle and estate with a donation, you can transfer your contribution to IBAN no. NL14 ABNA 0441 6660 43, payable to the Oud Poelgeest Heritage Foundation.
The restoration of the Drakenzaal (Dragon Hall) was completed in 2017. De Jongh Painting Company from Waardenburg restored the beautiful "polychrome" stucco ceiling, which had been solely white in color until recently. After extensive research and meticulous work, the original colors of all the flowers, curls, and mythical creatures were determined. Restorer Astrid van den Berg fully restored the three "Witjes," exceptional three-dimensional paintings from 1753. Additionally, the replica of the stolen second Tillenbeest was placed on the mantelpiece. The curtains and wooden floor were also replaced, and the room was adorned with additional gargoyles.