The main features of the coat of arms for the counts of Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff include a crown with nine spikes, a laurel branch and a gridiron. Approval to unite the names Sierstorpff and von Oeynhausen was given on 23 December 1901. The right-hand side of the coat of arms – above right: laurel branch; below right: gridiron – are part of the von Sierstorpff coat of arms (Siegendorf near Jülich) which used to be called Francken and was originally in the Sierstorpff region. The gridiron was designed by a Sierstorpff and chosen by him in memory of Lawrence of Rome who died a martyr’s death on a gridiron.

The ladder on the left-hand side is from the von Oeynhausen coat of arms (oin = a house). It serves as a symbol of a house; the inference is that if you do not need a ladder, it is not a house, but a small cottage. The lions on either side of the coat of arms are heraldic imagery, perhaps also bearers of weapons.

The family that own Gräflicher Park, the counts of Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff, are now in the seventh generation of managing the site and can look back on an eventful family history, beginning with the spa founder Caspar Heinrich, Count of Sierstorpff, who was born on 19 June 1750.

The ancestor and spa founder:
Caspar Heinrich von Sierstorpff and his family

After Caspar Heinrich von Sierstorpff lost his parents at the age of 26, he married the woman who had been suggested to be his bride in 1776: Maria Sophia von Brabeck, Canoness of Metelen, who was eight years older than him. In 1779, his desire to own land on which he could pursue his interests of hunting, cultivation and gardening grew. With his inheritance, he was able to buy the Bad Driburg mineral springs in 1781/82 and then founded his spa resort. After his appointment as Court Huntsman of Braunschweig, he moved with his family to Driburg, where the couple welcomed their son Clemens in 1778 and daughter Auguste in 1783, who died in 1789 from whooping cough. Caspar lost Clemens in 1806 to scarlet fever and his wife Maria died in 1808, having pointed her husband towards Charlotte von Vincke shortly before her death, whom he married two years after the death of his first wife. In spite of the big age difference (Caspar was 60, Charlotte 30 years old), it was a happy marriage that produced daughter Louise in 1811, son Ernst in 1813 and daughter Clementine in 1818. Charlotte died in 1833 and Caspar lived out his remaining years in Driburg and Braunschweig until his death in 1842.

The eventful family history in the 19th century
The heir of the spa was son Ernst, who married his cousin Caroline Sophie von Vincke, a good match given that she was the daughter of the Westphalian Supreme President. After his death, his son Bruno took over the Driburg reins in 1869 but was unable to enjoy it for too long; he died in the Franco–German war in 1870 childless and unmarried.

The female influence of the Sierstorpffs
Bruno’s brother and heir Ernst also died childless in 1879 following an accident, which left sister Hedwig to take over the reins. She expanded the park extensively and developed the newly tapped Caspar-Heinrich spring. She married Aschwin von Cramm in 1872 who took on the name Sierstorpff-Cramm in 1881 in line with the requirements of the entail. The oldest daughter of Aschwin and Hedwig, who was also called Hedwig, was very enthusiastic about expanding the park gardens. She married Wilhelm, Count of Oeynhausen, who took on the name Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff in 1901 on behalf of the couple and the family heritage.

Today, the noble family – Count Marcus and Countess Annabelle of Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff (born Hünermann) and their children Louis, Christoph and Alice – live in the centuries-old family house in the grounds of Gräflicher Park, enabling them to easily look after the interests of the hotel and corporate Group
Graf von Oeynhausen-Sierstorpff (www.ugos.de).