North of the centre of Heemskerk is a castle, which after 1612 is called "Marquette". In the Middle Ages the castle was known as the "Huys tot Heemskerck" (castle Heemskerk).
Count Willem II founded this strong castle around 1225 as part of his defense against the Western Frisians. It was the ancestral seat of the old noble family of Heemskerk. It belonged to the round fortresses and consisted mainly of a heavy wall. The actual nine-story fortress stood within this boundary wall. The house of Mr Van Heemskerk stood next to this grave reinforcement. The boundary wall with the actual fort was demolished around 1800 by Willem Rendorp, who was then the owner of Marquette Castle.
As mentioned, the castle was built by Count William II. According to some ancient chronicles, there was a strength in this place for a long time. It can be concluded from the reports of the chroniclers that around 1250 this place was of particular strategic importance. So much is certain that in 1254 a gentleman Arnoud van Heemskerk was bailiff of Kennemerland and also castle lord of this castle in Heemskerk. His eldest son, Gerard, was the first of whom is certain was the owner of the house of Heemskerk.
This Gerard van Heemskerk appears to have been under relatively serious suspicion of complicity in the murder of Floris V in 1296. At least he was one of those nobles who promised to come to Haarlem on August 2, 1296 and stay there until their innocence was proven.
He was soon able to clear himself of this suspicion, which he certainly owed to his political convictions. In 1297 he was one of the nobles who co-sealed the letter of passage (right to part of the inheritance) for the consort of Count Jan.
After the death of Count Jan, Gerard van Heemskerk dedicated the house of Heemskerk to his new landlord Count Jan van Henegouwen on 10 January 1300, from whom he received it on loan. The castle is well known from the “Hoekse and Kabeljauwse” disputes.
The grandson of Arnoud, also called Gerrit (=Gerard), was one of the leaders of the “Kabeljauwse” party. Around 1354 he managed to bring one of the leaders of the “Hoekse” party, Mr Dirk van Brederode, to Marquette and hold them captive there. Then the domestic disputes gradually took on sharper forms.
Gerrit's son, Wouter van Heemskerk, who succeeded him in 1355, has experienced this. This Wouter was attributed to the attack, which was committed at Castricum on the young bailiff Reinhout van Brederode. This prompted a nobleman from Jan van Polanen to besiege and capture the Heemskerk castle in 1356.
It took until 8 July 1379 for Wouter to be released from captivity by Duke Albrecht. Wouter died in 1380 without heirs. In 1418 under Countess Jacoba of Bavaria, the castle was completely destroyed by the Hoeksen, but later rebuilt.
For a long time, the history of the castle remains a mystery. It is known that in the first half of the fifteenth century, a reconciliation was established between the Heemskerkers and the Brederodes through mutual marriages. In history, the castle has not played a role since.
After the house had changed hands several times by inheritance, in 1610 it was sold by the Earl of Aremberg to a certain family "the Hertaing". This Daniel de Hertaing was lord of Marquette in Henegouwen. From that time on, the castle is called Marquette. In 1717 it came into the possession of Amsterdam mayor Joachim Rendorp through legacies and auctions, remaining in the family until the death of lady Pauline Johanna Rendorp Marquette in 1913. She was the widow of Esquire Hugo Gevers. Their son sir Hugo Gevers was mayor of Heemskerk from 1888 to 1907. He passed away in 1921. It was the Rendorps that gave Marquette its current form, and when it was thoroughly changed in 1741. The house was last occupied by the son of Mr. Hugo Gevers, Mr. Abraham Daniel Theodor Gevers, married to Christine Bernardine Johanna, Baroness de Vos van Steenwijk. They left the castle in 1979.
After general restoration in 1980-1981, the castle is now in use as an event venue; weddings, funerals, meetings, lunches, (private) dinners, etc.