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Shelter Lippensgoed Bulskampveld

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Shelter Lippensgoed Bulskampveld.
Lambert Malfait was the first Lord of Bulskampveld. Around 1800 he had his farmhouse converted into a castle. On his death in 1803, his son-in-law Eulisée Bulteau inherited Lambertsgoed. This Bulteau was a' pro-work enthusiastic' from France. On his death in 1834, four heirs were presented. In 1838, the domain was sold to Count Ferdinand de Meeus, director of the National Bank of Belgium. Bulskampveld remained in the hands of the De Meeus family for the rest of the 19th century. For F. de Meeus, who had his permanent residence in Brussels, Bulskampveld was his summer residencd. His son, Count Henri de Meeus, showed more interest in the domain. He took on the agricultural business and started an important drilling project in 1880. Originally it was his intention to find coal, but when the drill fell on hard rock at a depth of 337 m, the project was cancelled. The well was finally put into operation as an artesian well. Around 1887 a new castle was built in Bulskampveld. The extensive construction work took five years. In 1904 Count H. de Meeus sold the whole property to Mr Auguste Philippe Lippens't Serstevens, who died on 18 September 1904. His widow, Mrs. Lippens't Serstevens, later assisted by her son Raymond, has rebuild the domain into a country estate with allure. Raymond Lippens married Baroness de Béthune. This new castle inhabitant was a true botanical lover, whose hand we recognize in the planting of bulbous plants and perennials around the castle. Their son Philippe Lippens (1910-1989) was the last inhabitant of the castle. In addition to managing various companies, he also gained fame as a war pilot and archaeologist. In 1970 he sold the Lippensgoed-Bulskampveld to the province of West Flanders.

The present castle is the second one built in the Bulskampveld. The architect Clément Léonard of Lièger drawwed plans for this neo-Gothic place. From 1887 to 1892, about 80 people worked day after day at the new castle and outbuildings. Count H. de Meeus financed the prestigious project as a builder. The new castle has few castle allures. It is an extensive country house in a sober, neo-Gothic style. Simultaneously with the construction of the castle, a new coach house was erected as well as horse and cow stables. On the side of the vegetable garden, now a herb garden, we notice that parts of older buildings were used: a piece of field stone wall was preserved. A water tower was constructed on the corner of the coach house. On top of this tower there was a mill that pumped up the water from the artesian well. An instrument similar to a clock on the tower indicated the height of the water supply.

When the Lippens family bought the estate in 1904, she did not remain unemployed. E. Galopin from Brussels was recruited as landscape architect to design the castle park. The execution of the landscape plan included the complete reconstruction of the space in front of and next to the castle, as well as the construction of a triple lane,' the new gravel', from "Aanwijs" to the castle. The open spaces around the castle were rearranged: the approximately 1 ha large pond was excavated in swan-shape and the necessary differences in level were made on the terrain. A park, in English landscape style, broke through the pattern of the straight line veined. The planting plan provided an open space with jagged edges. In this space tree and shrub groups were planted. Several views from the castle were created. The edge plantations consisted of a rich range of tree species and varieties of culture that created a varied colour palette. Beautiful are the group of tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera) at the pond. This tree species was also used to build an avenue at the back of the castle farm. The bushes, mainly composed of azaleas and rhododendrons, cheered up the whole area during the spring. The extensive park construction was realised in a minimum of time. The Lippens family carried out other major plans. Several large hooves were built within the estate and their operation was entrusted to tenants. Both the castle farmstead and the two other hooves, which are located in the provincial estate, date from that period.

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