In 1680, the feudal ruler of the Land of Rhode (Land van Rode), Lopez Maria Rodriguez de Evora y Vega, moved the seat of his fief from Schelderode to his new castle in Beerlegem. In 1682, Land of Rhode was promoted from barony to marquisate, and the fief of Beerlegem to barony.
Around 1730, the marquis of Rhode started the construction of the Bieze Castle (Kasteel ten Bieze) in Beerlegem. This castle was completely walled and had nine bays. At the face and rear, two lion sculptures were holding the coat of arms of the marquis. An east wing and a west wing were built in a sober classicistic style, respectively in 1773 and 1778.
In 1872, the castle was enlarged and renewed in a neoclassicistic style. The original facade decoration disappeared and the roof was made higher. Though the majestical wrought-iron gate at the entrance of the castle domain is a beautiful example of rococo art, it would date back to only 1860-61 (1) .
Beerlegem is now a part of the Town of Zwalm (Belgium). The castle of Beerlegem is still in private hands.
(1) The date of 1860-61 is mentioned in : DHANENS, Elisabeth, Kastelen in Belgie (Castles in Belgium), in Spiegel Historiael, 7, 6, 1972, pp. 340-49.
Source: Koenraad DE WOLF,
Zuid-Oost-Vlaanderen. Barok, Rococo & Classicisme (1625-1800), 1999, pp. 72-74 and 78.
(English translation: Architectural
Guide of South-East-Flanders. Baroque, Rococo & Classicism (1625-1800).)