In the era of squires, the province of Groningen was dotted with Groningen estate houses. Located a mere fifteen minutes by car from the city, the Piloersemaborg is the only manor farm still in existence in the Netherlands. The combination of farmer’s antiques, stately architecture and filled animal enclosures brings 19th-century history back to life.
The manor farm near Den Ham – which is sometimes referred to as the Hamsterbord – lies beautifully hidden in the flat countryside. You have to look past long rows of trees to see that the building is located behind a wide moat. The current estate house was built in 1633, and although many things have changed over the years, the atmosphere of the life of squires of those days has been retained both inside and out.
Another Groningen estate house had been established here earlier, but it was so badly affected by the Eighty Years’ War that, according to the deed of sale, not much was retained beside ‘avenues, canals and broken stones’. The current estate house also nearly failed to withstand the ravages of time. Just like most estate houses, the Piloersemaborg was in bad repair at the end of the last century. It was, however, thoroughly renovated and today functions as a charming hotel. The guest wing is in the former shed and on the upper floor of the middle house.