Mr Constant Theys book “The History of Dworp” teaches us that the castle goes back to 1649.
The present structure has been built by Mr Ignaas Le Roy, who ordered to build the castle east of the farmhouse that already existed under the name “Borchthoeve” with “Den Toren”. This tower was then one of the remains of the “Kesterbeek” domain that we find also in the acts of 1438 and 1558. The castle as it is today is a renovation of the ancient one. There was the master’s house, the big (inner) court and all the wings surrounded by water. The lift bridge gave entrance to the house. Above the door we can still see the escutcheon of the family Le Roy.
The castle, house and farm included, was destroyed on 17 February 1684 by the army of Louis XIV. Jaak Landelijn Le Roy, son of Ignaas, had it rebuilt. The remains of the restored castle are : the central part with the square tower, based on 4 pillars with 4 arches and a remake of the castle, burnt down in 1684.
Later in 1693, he sold the castle to Pieter Fraiseau for the price of 26.000 florins.
In 1725 Pieter Robyns took possession of the house and after his death in 1728 his wife remarried the knight Willem de Hemptines. On his request, the Dworp domain was ennobled to the barony by the king in 1757.
The son-in-law of Baron de Hemptines, count Gommart de Crez, inherited all the lands and the entire property after his wife’s death without children. In this way, the Dworp domain came into the possession of the family Cornet de Crez.
We find their escutcheon with 3 horns in the weathercock of the donjon (castle tower). This escutcheon has also been incorporated in the new emblem of the Gravenhof castle. It was not before 1870 that the side wings with the four corner towers were added. On the same occasion they had the canals filled in the front.
Meanwhile the castle passed from family to family according to the succession principles.
Eventually the last heiress of the family Cornet de Crez, the baroness of Anetham rented the castle to the Brussels family Wauquez.
During the First World War the Germans have occupied the castle. Thereafter the family could repossess it. During the Second World War it has again been occupied by German generals and after the liberation soviet prisoners took their place, followed by the Foster Parents Plan for war children. Afterwards the castle remained mostly uninhabited. As a matter of fact, the castle hadn’t been looked after since the First World War and as a consequence looked dreary at that time.
Particularly the lack of maintenance works as to the roof and the sewerage and the failing lighting system accelerated the castle’s decline. It went on his way till 9 August 1959, when Mr Piet Demol, who had been dreaming of this castle from his early youth, could finally take possession of it.
He bought the castle with the 4,5 hectares surroundings from baroness of Anethan. The remaining 18 hectares have been purchased by the F.I.V.B. (Federale Immobiliën Vennootschap van het Bouwbedrijf = Federal Immovable Partnership of the Building Industry) who planned to parcel it out into 136 building lots. On July I 1960, the castle was opened to the public and was named Gravenhof, according to the different counts who had been living in the castle. It became a place for family celebrations, receptions, meeting and study centres, besides 26 rooms and 56 beds.
On May I 1988 Gravenhof S.A. has been taken over by the Van Wonterghem house, who promised to render it all its glory by renovation and by adjusting the comfort of the rooms and the hotel to the modern standards.