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Hofstede Groot Schamelweke, a snippet of history

The barn dates from 1309 and was restored for the first time in 1449.

What’s in a name?

Records (1438) from the Public Centre for Social Welfare mention that farmhouse “Groot Schamelweke” belonged to the almshouse of the Holy Spirit and the Our Lady of the Pottery hospital in Bruges.


In the precepts of the Sisters of the Pottery, it was noted that the tenants of the farmhouse had to take care of the vulnerable, the weak and the poor.

They grew lots of crops here, such as wheat, oats, beans, vetch and herbs. The livestock consisted of dairy cows, oxes, sheep, lambs, pigs, piglets, horses and foals. The profit of the farmhouse was used to maintain the needy of the Pottery of Bruges.

After the French Revolution (1789), the farmhouse became the property of the Public Centre for Social Welfare. The big barn belonged to the impressive cultural patrimony of the Public Centre and became a protected monument in 1971. This allowed the owner to ask for government subsidies.

Building form

The inner dimensions of the large barn is 14,3 m on 38 m and has a ridge height of 12,25 m. The building consists of a brick construction, an oak internal structure and a saddle roof with red roof tiles. The building form with three-aisled pine roof construction finds its origins in prehistory.

Six buttresses and 2 corner buttresses divide the walls in seven compartments which reveals the place of the 7 rafters with anchor beams. Both facades, with high peaks, are reinforced by 2 buttresses. 

During the interwar period (1918-1939), the eastern gable was demolished. 

The western gable counts 2 anchors, a 3 and a reversed 6. The upper trusses are supported by anchor beams on 8 metre high pillars and are reinforced in the corners. The span between the pillars measures approximately 6 metres. 

The rafters lie on the wall plates of the relatively low walls and on each side on the 5 purlins:

  • two bottom purlins
  • heavy plate at the level of the anchor beams
  • Plate (highest triangular bent)
  • A beam in the plate
  • Ridge purlin

The barn has 1 passage.

In the future, we will transform this beautiful barn into a unique party room for weddings, jubilees and birthdays.