Schwansbell Castle in Lünen is one of the few examples of a castle that was built in the Wilhelminian era in the Ruhr region. The Dortmund architect Fritz Weber designed this building with two octagonal towers for the owner at the time, Wilhelm von Westerholt, and it was built between 1872 and 1875.
In the English neo-Gothic style
The base of one of the round towers is reminiscent of the medieval water castle in Horstmar which was owned by the Lords of Schwansbell from the end of the tenth century until about 1700. In 1850, the outbuildings burned down and were rebuilt. 1872-1875 the Westerholts had a new castle built, a considerable building with three floors in the English neo-Gothic style. The two octagonal flanking towers and the central avant-corps which appear as a loggia on the first floor and as a balcony on the second, gave the stately home a representative character. In 1929, the building was acquired by the city of Lünen, and afterwards suffered constant changes in use. Thanks to a private initiative, Schwansbell was saved. A businessman bought the castle and had it renovated in 1981/82. It was rented to the city of Lünen’s building authority and today serves a residential purpose. The outbuilding, an elongated brick building from 1853, has, since the restoration, housed the city museum.
The museum is in the outbuilding
The 1937 collection of the established city museum found its way into the castle’s former outbuilding in 1982. Since then, five historic foci relating to the history of the city and the region have evolved. So there is the home decoration department, a collection of ceramics and stoneware, a collection of cast-iron products, and one which presents agricultural home and work tools. A comprehensive collection of dolls and toys was acquired from a private collection in 1983