Kasteel Coevorden originates from the eleventh century. The name Coevorden derives from the ford through which the local cattle (cows) was driven. In 1046, the bishop of Utrecht built along this cattle route an artificial hill, called a ‘motte,’ as a fortification that helped to protect the trade route between Germany and Groningen and Friesland. The levy of tolls at this passage through the swamps of Coevorden caused numerous conflicts between the lord of the castle and the sovereign of Utrecht. At the foot of the castle, a small settlement of artisans grew into a town.