Gedenknaald Huis te Manpad

You will find this memorial needle in Heemstede, in the middle of the green eighteenth-century gardens of Huis te Manpad. Professor David Jacob van Lennep had the needle built in 1817. It is a monument to the two battles around the grounds of the country estate, but it turns out that one of these battles never took place!



Year built



David Jacob van Lennep

Name of historic buitenplaats

House in Manpad

Special feature

The battle of Manpad, with today's knowledge, did not take place at all

Owned by Monumentenbezit

Since 2016

Wheelchair accessible


Visitor information

The memorial niche is free to view. You can also book an excursion through the foundation of Huis te Manpad and come see the surrounding gardens. The house itself is privately owned.

Visiting address:

Herenweg 7-11, 2105 MB Heemstede

On the initiative of the poet and professor David Jacob van Lennep (1774-1853), a memorial needle was erected at the Huis te Manpad in 1817. Van Lennep came from a patrician family. He lived in the Huis te Manpad, which he inherited from his father. He spent a lot of time here and wrote several poems about the house and the Manpad.

Who was he? Van Lennep studied classical literature and law in Amsterdam and Leiden. In 1799, he became a professor of classical languages. An important part of his career was teaching King Louis Napoleon. Together with colleagues Willem Bilderdijk and Matthijs Siegenbeek, he taught the French-speaking king the Dutch language at Het Loo Palace.

Around 1826, he wrote his famous book Verhandeling over het Important van Hollands grond voor gevoel en verbeelding. In it there is also a passage about the Battle of the Manpad of 1304:

"And around Haamstede the Landzaat drifted by one,

 And the bloody battle was fought,

 And the Flemish pride perished and vanished,

 At the Manpadt trampled."

The needle commemorates two battles that allegedly took place here. At the Battle of the Manpad in 1304, Dutch troops led by Witte van Haemstede (c. 1280-1321), a bastard son of Count Floris V, were said to have defeated the Flemish troops of Guy of Namur (c. 1272-1311). However, recent research has shown that this battle probably never took place.

The other Battle of the Manpad to which the memorial needle refers took place July 8-9, 1573. The goal was to liberate Haarlem, occupied by Spanish troops, after a seven-month siege and provide food for the starving population. However, Haarlem was never reached. The troops of William of Orange (1533-1584), consisting of 4,000 men, mostly civilians, were devastatingly defeated in the vicinity of the Manpad by a Spanish force. Hundreds of men died, including army leader Willem van Bronckhorst-Batenburg (1529-1573) and riding master Gaspard van der Noot (1535-1573). The 1573 event has been commemorated annually since 2017.

The memorial post consists of a bluestone obelisk on a pedestal also in bluestone. The inscription refers to the two strokes. The memorial marker is part of the gardens at the House at Manpad.

David Jacob van Lennep had the house enlarged at the rear and at the same time wanted to walk and beautify the garden. However, the construction of garden sections in a transitional style between geometric style and landscape style was only commissioned by the next owner (from 1771); Cornelis van Lennep. You can still find two statues from this period in the gardens today, a Bacchus and an Ariadne by sculptor Jan van Logteren. In the period 2006-2011, garden and park were restored and largely returned to their original state.

Since 2016, the needle has been owned by Monumentenbezit

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