Klein Leeuwenhorst is located in the seaside village of Noordwijk, near Amsterdam. The history of Leeuwenhorst started in 1261, when Arent van Alkemade, priest in Haarlem, and his brother Alewijn established a Cistercian’s monastery. The abbey expanded in 1287 and built a chapel dedicated to Saint Michael in 1350. The religious turmoil of the sixteenth century led to the demise of the abbey. In 1676 Leeuwenhorst was rented by Casper Fagel, the right-hand man of the “Stadholder” William III, during which he created a renowned botanical garden with exotic plants. As William of Orange settled in England upon becoming king, Fagel and his plants also relocated.
The house Klein Leeuwenhorst was built in 1858 and served as residence for the local mayor before then 12-year-old Jan Hugo Gevers inherited the estate in 1903. During the Second World War, the larger house was demolished to make way for the Atlantikwall defense line of the nazi occupier, while Klein Leeuwenhorst had to undergo an entire restoration after the war. The estate, which includes woodlands, pastures and tulip fields is run by two sisters and their families.