In 1121 the name was written as "Poksela". It is the name of the Poeke river with the Germanic suffix 'sali' appended to it. And "sali" meant farmer's house, the place where humans and farm animals had one and the same roof over their heads. Poesele was clearly not much more than a farm on the Poeke river banks.
In 1121 the bishop of Doornik (Tournai) put the parish under the patronage of the St Bavo Abbey of Ghent. In all probability the first church was built in the course of the 11th Century.
The authorities declared the old church too ramshakle and dangerous for human consumption and in 1850 it was demolished. The current church in the neoclassical style was designed and built in 1852 according to the plans of architect priest J.A. Clarysse. It was solemnly consecrated by the bishop of Ghent, Mgr. Delebecque in 1855.
In 1860 the Fraternity of Saint Donatus was founded. He was called upon for protection and help against thunder, lightning and other dangerous natural phenomena. Until 1972 there was a procession in his honour.
In 1870 Louis Lovaert, an accomplished organ builder from Nevele built a new organ in the church. The organ case was made by Leonard Blanchaert from St. Denijs-Westrem (near Ghent). This is not only a very beautiful organ but it also proved to be a great and invaluable musical instrument. For instance on 29 March 1973 Kamiel D'Hooghe, director of the Brussels Academy of Music, gave here a particularly memorable recital.
The current vicarage was built in 1845 also according to plans by J.A. Clarysse. It was restored in 1985.
On 4 May 1945 the poet and writer Monika Van Paemel was born here. She published a dozen successful novels and won 4 prestigious literary prizes. She was knighted and became a baroness in 1993.
Poesele together with
Nevele itself were merged into what I call here
greater-Nevele. No one asked the inhabitants how they felt about this merger because
the powers that be were certain the vast majority everywhere in Belgium was firmly against
these mergers. On 1 January 2011 Poesele had 518 inhabitants and exactly six years
later there were 243 women and 227 men.
The source for most of the above is the excellent "Streekgids Meetjesland", 1998, pp.124-125. See also: Our Sources.
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Most recent update : 22-04-2021
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