I couldn’t resist picking up this 2000 copy of the Meerbuscher Geschichtsheft with this historic picture of the chapel at Schloss Pesch, prior to its renovation. This is how I remember the chapel, with bushes growing out of its brickwork and windows missing and others bricked or boarded up. Particularly at night it seemed like the obvious setting for a ghost story.
I was particularly pleased to find a plan of the interior drawn by the architect who was planning the renovation. The body of the chapel back then was one single circular room. At the time there was no remnant of an altar, but it would likely have been on the right hand side of this drawing (which is to the east) as the door was then on the left (west) side.
A number of people have contacted me with questions about the chapel at Schloß Pesch and in particular about what it looked like before the renovation. For those who have not visited Schloß Pesch, the former chapel is situated to the left of the schloss as you approach it, slightly set back from the Rentei (staff quarters) which is the building with the clock tower.
One of the most engaging aspects of The Devil’s Missal is the eerie setting of Schloss Pesch in Meerbusch for some of the key scenes. Since the events of the book the schloss has been extensively cleaned and renovated, to remove the decay and ghostly atmosphere which is so redolent in the novel. In particular the dilapidated old chapel which plays a crucial role in The Devil’s Missal has been renovated almost beyond recognition. For readers who know what went on there, this will come as a relief…