A four hour journey from Pempelfort to Krefeld

One of the sources I used while writing The Devil’s Missal was the journal of Steven Jan de Geuns, a Dutch academic who travelled extensively through Germany in the company of Alexander von Humboldt, passing through Meerbusch on 26th October 1789.

De Geuns waxed lyrical about Krefeld, calling it a beautiful city, clean and the closest to a Dutch city that he had seen (being a Dutchman himself, presumably this was high praise). His sightseeing tour of the city appears to have consisted of a tour of several factories. Meerbusch is mentioned only as consisting of fertile agricultural land. Which sounds about right for the period.

Haus Hamm in Meerbusch-Strümp – a hidden tower in the woods?

In one history of Meerbusch I came across a picture of a place I don’t recognise. It seems to be a derelict tower standing on its own in woods. The description says it was taken in around 1900.

I have never come across this place in real life – maybe it no longer exists – or maybe it is hidden away off the beaten path somewhere. There are some references in historical documents. From the sixteenth century until at least 1745 it was owned by various members of the von Backum family.

Haus Hamm around 1900