Historischer Rundweg - Board 7

Eyll – Heekeren Manor

The centuries old knight’s estate was demolished in the 1960s.


Eyll Manor (also known as Heekeren) lay to the north of the Church in Weeze, to the left of the west bank of the Niers River, and consisted of a fortified living tower with several building extensions. It gave the impression of a massive brick-building built with a cellar, whose outer walls boasted an incredible thickness. The main house stood parallel to the western bank of the Niers River. A smaller household wing was additionally added at a right-angle to the west. A rectangular stables building was located to the north-west.  


The country estate was first-mentioned in an official document from the Graefenthal Monastery as „guet van Eyll“ (Estate of Eyll) in 1425. The Eyll Family can be traced back to as early as 1422, with, in this case, Sander van Eyll listed as a member of the local judicial bench. In 1440 a „Herr zu Loe und Geisteren“ mortgaged the aristocratic estate to Giesbert von Eyll.

In 1558 Willem von Schewick zu Driesberg near Kessel sold his Eyll Manor to Johann Hagedorn, whose daughter Hilleken married a Johann von Heeckeren. He appears as owner of the manor. His name supplanted the old titel of the aristocratic house, so that people called it Eyll-Heekeren after that.

Owned by the Kersskorff Family until the end of the 17th century, the country estate later went over to a Baroness von Eynatten, who sold the whole complex to a Maria Elisabeth von Daell zu Hoest. After the death of Baroness von Juliane van Daell zu Eyll the estate went over to the Barons van Hövel tot Westerflier en Wezeveld. The last owner finally sold the house and land with all rights to the Snelting Family from Megchelen near Gendringen in The Netherlands. The latter managed the country estate up into the 20th century.

War damage

The Snelting Family lived in a separate household building with stables, located away from the main building and barn. Up until the evacuation of the whole of the Weeze population during the end of the Second World War the Klaas, Weynhoven and Bongers Families lived in the historical house of Heekeren Manor. In the last few weeks of the war a bomb hit the mighty lime tree which stood in front of the household building. Another grenade later destroyed the barn.  

The initial makeshift repairs after the war were carried out by Wilhelm Snelting, even though parts of the main house were no longer used as a living space, but as a barn. Just the Klaas Family remained in the building parallel to the Niers River for a short while.

Demolition of the buildings

The substantial and numerous damage caused during the war on all buildings, especially the roof was in a dire state, made an elaborate restoration very difficult. The structure decayed more and more. Finally in 1962 the decision was taken to demolish the building. The whole of the property was converted into building land, parcelled and sold to those interested. A few of the land plots, however, remained in the ownership of the family.

Basement vault

Today remnants of the centuries old basement vault, in the garden of Weeze’s honorary cititzen Franz Macherey, who died in 2004, and the street name „Am Heekeren“ remind one of the old knight’s estate that used to be here.

'Heeckeren' Manor on the Niers, north of the town centre (Excerpt, Cleves Land registry, Weeze Nr. 14, 1731/1732).

„Heeckeren“ Manor on the Niers, north of the town centre (Excerpt, Cleves Land registry, Weeze Nr. 14, 1731/1732).

Eyll-Heekeren Manor, aerial photograph from the south-west, 1962.

Eyll-Heekeren Manor, aerial photograph from the south-west, 1962.

Demolition, 1967.

Demolition, 1967.

Basement vault in the Macherey‘s garden, 1970s.

Basement vault in the Macherey‘s garden, 1970s.

Dilapidated and unoccupied, 1963.

Dilapidated and unoccupied, 1963.


Content: Gemeindearchiv Weeze, Siegfried Janssen † (Arbeitskreis Weezer Heimatgeschichte e.V.), 2016

Photographs: Municipality of Weeze, Arbeitskreis Weezer Heimatgeschichte e.V. (Weeze Historical Association)