Weather wall excavated during works around Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk Kortrijk
The weather wall was exposed during the environmental works in the historic center around the Church of Our Lady. Nine days after work began, and barely two days after archaeological excavations began, that find came with significant historical value.
This is the last missing part of the defensive wall that stood at the outer bailey during the Battle of the Golden Spurs. That outer bailey was located where the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk is now. That was to the east of the forced castle that the French king had built in the count’s domain.
Via a water management system, the outer bailey secured the forced castle where the French king Philip the Fair hid with 300 supporters after the Brugse Metten.
Thanks to the excavation, the 400 meter long weather wall, which at the time was between 6 and 8 meters above the ground, is now almost complete.
The non-profit organization Archeologie Zuid-West-Vlaanderen, formerly the Archaeological Foundation, started in 1990 with the excavations of the wall. On the basis of a passage from 1357 in the State Archives, the artillery tower was first exposed. The Kortrijk archaeologist Philippe Despriet was the lucky one who was able to uncover the castle afterwards.
The excavations were completed in 2006, with the last find being the choir of the Gravenkapel. The last part of the retaining wall could never be uncovered, until now. “Making this wall visible was one of our plans,” says alderman Wout Maddens. “The military history of the Church of Our Lady becomes even more tangible.”