The castle was transferred in 1015 from the private estate of Meinwerk, bishop of Paderborn to the city of Paderborn. Since 1150 it is the seat of the noble lords of Plesse, who named themselves for the castle. Holy Roman emperor Henry VI traded Plesse Castle in 1192 for Desenberg Castle close to Warburg in Westphalia, but the trade was already reverted in 1195. In 1447 the lords of Plesse transferred their possession of Plesse Castle to the Landgrave Ludwig of Hesse and in return received it as a fiefdom. The explanation for it lies in the fragmentation of the dukedom of Brunswick-Göttingen. The leading noble families could not avoid being drawn into the ensuing conflicts. They therefore sought protection from a powerful liege lord. They found this protection and backup with another ruler, who was Ludwig of Hesse.
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