The Castle Miranda (aka Château Noisy) was built in 1866 as a summer residence for the Liedekerke-Beaufort family, (also owning the Castle of Vêves) and has had various destinations over the years. It is also known as Noisy House when it still served as an orphanage.
Now, many years later, nature has slowly but surely taken back the building, culminating in its recent total destruction. So no use looking around to find it or planning a visit: it's gone!
During the French revolution the Count Liedekerke-Beaufort and his family, who were very much involved in Belgian politics, fled their home, the nearby Château de Vêves, to a secluded farm in the forest on the outskirts of the village. After the French revolution, the English architect Edward Milner, was commissioned in 1866 by the Liedekerke-Beaufort family to design and build a castle on the land.
Initially Chateau Miranda, boasting beautifully landscaped gardens, served the family Liedekerke de Beaufort as a summer residence.
During the Ardennes offensive in World War II, the château was briefly occupied by German troops. During the Battle of the Bulge, there was also some fighting on the property.
From 1950 the castle was taken over by the National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS) as a holiday camp for children who suffered from ill health. Around this time, the castle was named Home de Noisy or Château de Noisy. With about 200 places the ‘holiday camp’ gave shelter to the children, providing fresh air, a fabulous playground and healthy food.
In the 1990’s the owners began the search for investors with the desire to transform the Château into a hotel. Due to the rising costs of maintenance and refurbishment, the plans failed and the Château was abandoned in 1991. In 1995 a fire claimed part of the roof, and shortly after this the owner removed the hardwood floors, fireplaces and Italian blue marble to use in the neighboring farm and another castle in Italy. In 2006 a violent storm, caused the stable roof to collapse.
Since 1991, the castle stood empty and fell into a bad state of disrepair so that it resembled more and more a haunted castle. Despite the fact that the municipality of Celles had made several times a bid to buy the castle and the land it was built on, the family didn’t want to give up the Castle. It lost it’s National Heritage status and a demolition permit was issued in 2014.
The heritage loss of this beautiful castle is frankly quite shocking and incomprehensible.
As we moved back to Belgium and started hiking again a few weeks only after the Castle was demolished, sadly I don’t have any photos of my own. I can only share a few photos from others who sneaked inside before it was demolished (David Baker).