Grobbendronk, Belgium – Oktober 8th 2010
The Priory is a ruin of the “Assumption of the Virgin Mary” (Dutch: Onze Lieve Vrouwe Ten Troon) monastery, which is hidden in the forest on the border of the military domain of the British Army. Nothing is left of the church, apart from a few high walls, and a supposed crypt, which is behind a fence. The other buildings, in particular the remains of the former monastery, are now privately owned. “The monastery was founded on the Hof van Grobbendonk on December 26, 1414 by knight Arnold Van Crayenhem at the place that was then called Hulsdonk, along the old road from Grobbendonk to Herentals. The monastery of “Den Troon” was of the Windesheimer order.
In 1572, the abbey was visited and looted by the Geuzen for the first time. In 1579 the priory was totally destroyed like almost every building in Grobbendonk. Since then the demolition has followed systematically. A fire in 1898 made “Den Troon” the ruin that is now there. The church was purchased by Floris Prims in 1931 and transferred to the Archdiocese of Mechelen in 1950; transferred in 1992 to the municipality of Grobbendonk, which in turn handed over the management to the nature association v. “The Kingfisher”. This association started with excavations in 1993, followed by restoration of the church ruins. The east wing and southern wall of the monastery church have been protected as a monument since 1978. The environment of the priory is also protected as a village scene. “Mario has seen old entities there. These were very old, probably from before our era. Why these are still hanging there is a mystery to us. Unfortunately we have no choir of hear monks sing, rumors of which are going on in the village.