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History

The owners of the castle

The founders of a new Łeba residence were the Wejhers who came to Lębork-Bytów region in the second half of the 14th century.

Klaus Wejher

After the flood which took palce on 15th September, 1497, Kalus Wejher built another seat on more safe grounds, on south-western shore of Sarbsko Lake. He gave it a name of Neuhof (New Castle) in contrast with the 'old' one in Łeba. Klaus is not only considered as a constructor of Neuhof, but also as a progenitor of the Wejher's line both in Łeba and Nowęcin. In the middle of the XIV century Wejher was a duke's sub-perfect in Słupsk, and at that time the wealth of the family increased.

Ernest Wejher (1517 - 1577/1590)

Ernest appeared at the court of king Sigismund II Augustus, participated in the Polish-Lithuanian war in Livonia, held numerous offices and posts: he became a sub-perfect of Lębork (later Puck), and his seat in Łeba and Nowęcin. He was the owner of numerous estses including Charbrowo and Osieki, so he was an extremely wealthy person . His marriage to Anna Materska brought him six sons and three daughters. Only one of them , Melchior, inherited Nowęcin.

Melchior Wejher (? - 1643)

Melchior was also a holder of numerous offices and posts; he used to be a Prussian Treasurer, a castellan of Elbląg (1619-35), a Governor of Chełmno and a Perfect of Bydgoszcz and Lębork. Melchior enjoyed travelling and hunting in the company of his friends, to which belonged mostly men. He did not hide his negative attitude towards women; he felt uncomfortable in their companionship. He also persecuted ladies during the parties and official meetings. His controversial behaviour and very modern, as for his times, opinions caused that Melchior was famous in the neighbourhood, and the courtiers made up some stories about him. Melchior's parents did not have an easy life with their son. They were forced to contradict the rumours about Melchior's homosexual inclinations or explain his shocking behaviour. Melchior fought against getting married for a long time, and after the threat of being disinherited eventually gave up and married Anna Prymówna, a candidate who had been chosen by his parents. This relationship was not sucessful, anyway, and the married couple had no children.

Ernst Wejher from Gniewino (? - 1651)

Der Enkel des Franzens aus Gnewin und Sohn von Klaus. Neuhof wird nun von einer anderen Wejherlinie übernommen. Ernst wird im Jahre 1630 in Neuhof sesshaft, aber auf welche Art und Weise er zum Besitzer von Neuhof wurde ist unbekannt. Es kann sein, dass er das Gut Neuhof kaufte oder es wurde als Erbschaft einer anderen Linie der Familie Wejher übergeben. Wie für damalige Zeiten, war dieser Besitzer ein hoch gebildeter Mann. Er war Führer des damaligen Adelstandes und zugleich Landesrichter in Lauenburg. Er heiratete Barbara Sophie von Krockow und sein einziger Sohn Franz wurde nach dem Tode seines Vaters zum Erben des Schlösschens in Neuhof.

Franciszek Wejher (1620 - 1756)

Franciszek studied at the University of Prague, he also travelled a lot, amogs others to Netherlas , England, and France. He was a Sub-perfect of Wałcz, Czarny and Biały Bór. Besides Nowęcin he owned Szczenurze and Skarszewy; he had his shares in other towns. He set up a charity foundation of Franciszek Wejher (13th January, 1676). His wife was also a descendant of the von Krakows. After her death, Mikołaj Wejher became the natural owner of those estates, which he also enlarged considerably.

Nikolaus Wejher

Nikodem Wejher Henryk, Polish Chamberlain

He is the last representative of the Wejher family which owned Nowęcin for more than 300 years. He was very keen on horses. His interest became a passion, and the passion became an obsession. He travelled around the whole country looking for the most beautiful horses. He wanted to create the biggest horse stable in Pomerania. Horses became his most absorbing matter. His wife Henryka Konstancja spent lonely days and nights in the castle waiting in vain for her husband's returns. Loneliness pushed her towards unfaithfulness which was to made up the abscence of her husband. Initially secret meetings changed into public romances. Nothing, however, seemed to arouse Nikodem's interest but horses, and numerous romances of his wife unburneded Nikodem from accompanying his wife all the time.

Konrad Henryk von Somnitz from Charbrowo

The estate was sold on 6th October, 1781 to Konrad Henryk from Charbrowo, who in turn sold it during the same year.

Josef Jakob Schreder

The Pawele family

In 1804 the property was taken over by the Pawele family. The owners in sequence are:

The count Krockow-Mathy

Kramer, from 1837

Ludwik Strauts, from 1846

Maria from the house of Ostrecht, a widow after Ludwik Strauts

Maria and Ludwik, undoubtedly belonged to the best and happiest marriages which inhabited the castle. Maria faithfully accompanied her husband in numerous travels, and Ludwik in return coddled her with presents and did not leave her for a while. Everyboby admired them, and some even envied them their true love. After Ludwik's death, Maria could not find herslef in a new situation. Her health deteriorated, she ate little, and in consequence lost her senses. She walked the long hours in the castle exhorting to her husband and looking for him in every apartment. She died after a short time. The legend says that the ghost fo Maria still goes around the castle looking for its husband desperately, and some silient whispers and sob is heard in the halls of the caslte.

Hermann Strauts (1896 - 1902)

Leon Rietzke from Werblowo, from 1902

It was then that Lemcke wrote an incomplete description of the place. The author mentioned that the old area of the old chapel was built into the present walls of the castle. He also mentioned the name 'Jerusalem'. This part of the building was built over arched cellars, with thick walls with two niches crwned with semi-arch.

Owners of Nowecin Castle

The castle and the chapel

Chapel

Ernest Wejher fought in a Polish-Prussian war. When he was wounded his loyal squire took him immediately back to the castle in Nowęcin. Having been saved by God, Ernest decided to engrave an inscription on the wall of the chapel by himself. He did this in order to thank God for saving his life. This inscription is visiblefrom the reception desk and says:

G.W.M.U.I.T.G
1.5.6.7.
E.W.A.U.M.

The first letters of the acronym may mean the following:
"GOT WAR MIT UNS IN TODES GEFAHR
ER WIRKT AN UNS MACHTIGLICH"

which means:
"God was with us in deadly peril. He strengthens us."

The date of 1567 suggests that the inscription commemorates Ernest Wejher, the son of Klaus who is supposed to have been a founder of the Leba-Nowecin line. On some unknown grounds H. Lemcke believes that Ernest Wejher was the constructor of the castle of Nowecin, and assumes the date of his death to be 1577. Other historians believe he died in 1590. The niche with the inscription has not survived till today, although contemporary oral tradition says that there were 'some inscriptions' on the walls before the refurbishment carried out in the 1960s.

It was said that in the Lemcke's work you could find the only picture of the palace, taken before 1919. The author believed the building visible in he picture to be the remaining wing of the oldest part of the castle. The existing arcade containing glassed veranda was built in 1909. The gable of the building remained unchanged, with the original number of windows, although they lacked the window casings and woodworks. The above mentioned arcade obscures completely the front façade of the chapel. The part of the building which is not hidden behind the arcade is the then uniaxial annex. The tower and the northern part of the palace, not visible in the picture, were built at the same time.

Comparing the photograph with the present state of the art, it seems that the window and door openings on the ground floor of the façade have not changed, at least in their situation. Because of the arcade, however, the windows and the main entrance were reduced in size.

Castle

Summing up: our knowledge is limited to only the primary looks of the building. It was a castle with two perpendicular side wings and the front facing south, surrounded by earth embankments and a moat. The chapel was built into the eastern wing, or it had been there before.

Nobody knows what had happened to the castle for 3 hundred years. It was reconstructed in 1909, but we know that it had been a one floor rectangular building with the attic, covered with gable roof, with the front facing south. From the east there was a lower annex with massive buttress, a pointed arch window (windows), also covered with a gable roof.

Thus, as a seat of the owners of Nowecin, it was a very modest building, looking as if it were the remains of some bigger complex of buildings.