When the Liedekerke-De Beaufort family left their previous home, Vêves Castle, during the French Revolution, they needed a new home. The castle that they would name Château Miranda was planned and designed in 1866 by the English architect Edward Milner. Unfortunately, Milner died in 1884 before the château was finished. I’m sure he would have loved to see his design completed. Construction was completed in 1907 after the clock tower was erected. The descendants of the Liedekerke-De Beauford family remained in occupation until World War II. During World War II, a small portion of the Battle of the Bulge took place on the property, and it was during that time that the château was taken over and occupied by German forces.

The Liedekerke-De Beauford never moved back into Château Miranda. In 1950, it was renamed “Château de Noisy” when it was taken over by the National Railway Company of Belgium (NMBS/SNCB). During that time, and the reason for the strange name change, was that Château Miranda was converted into an orphanage and also a holiday camp for sickly children. Château Miranda lasted as a children’s camp until the late 1970s. Little is known about its occupation from the late 19702 to 1991, when it was abandoned and stood empty, because the cost to maintain it was too great, and a search for investors in the property failed. The municipality of Celles offered to take it over, but the family refused, and the enormous building lingered in a derelict state, slowly succumbing to decay and vandalism. At one point, parts of Château Miranda were heavily damaged in a fire, and many ceiling areas began collapsing. Despite this, it became a favorite site for exploration.

Finally, the fate of Château Miranda was decided, and demolition work began in 2016. This was mainly due to concern over the structural stability of the building. The demolition took approximately a year, beginning in October 2016 with the removal of the roof. By October 2017, it was done…and, the Château Miranda had been completely demolished. The last part to be removed was the central tower. To me it is a terrible injustice for what was once so fine a castle. Sadly, not everyone sees the historic value in old buildings, and some would rather see these historic buildings restored, rather than have history destroyed.

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