According to legend, Uccle's church of St. Peter was dedicated by Pope Leo III in the year 803, with Charlemagne and Gerbald, Bishop of Liège, attending the ceremony. During the following centuries, several noble families built their manors and took residency here. The first mention of the name Woluesdal, now evolved into Wolvendael, dates from 1209. In 1467, Isabella of Portugal, wife of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy founded a Franciscan convent on Uccle's territory. Later, Uccle became the judiciary capital of the area including Brussels. Throughout the early stages of its history, however, the village of Uccle always had a predominantly rural character and lived mostly from the products of forestry and agriculture.
At the end of the 18th century, a few years after the French Revolution, Uccle merged with neighbouring territories to become a commune, with its own burgomaster (mayor) and municipal assembly. It had to wait until 1828, however, for the Dutch authorities to allow the construction of the first town hall. This was a time of economic prosperity and growth, stimulated by the proximity to the two main roads linking Brussels to the industrial south. A newer and larger town hall was built between 1872 and 1882. Banker and philanthropist Georges Brugmann was instrumental to the urbanisation of the municipality just before the turn of the 20th century. In the early 20th century, Michel van Gelder introduced a new breed of chicken, the d'Uccle, named after the town. Despite the accelerated rate of construction that took place in the early 20th century, Uccle succeeded in keeping several of its green areas intact, which now attract many of the Brussels area's wealthier inhabitants.
Lying beyond Forest and Ixelles and skirting the Sonian Forest, Uccle is Brussel's largest and southernmost commune. Large, 19th and 20th century villas with generous gardens make this green and calm suburb a favourite with well-off expatriates, with the Art Deco area around the Royal Observatory and the fringes of the Sonian Forest the two most desirable addresses.
Lordship of Stalle
A large part of the territory of modern-day Uccle used to be part of the Lordship (seigneurie) of Stalle, in addition to the old village of Uccle and the barony of Carloo.
The first Lords of Stalle (High Justiciaries) were:
I. Henri de Stalle, knight, died before 1357 ;
II. Florent de Stalle, his son, alderman of Brussels in 1319 and knight. He married Lady Aleyde ;
III. Florent de Stalle, knight and alderman of Brussels in 1357, member of the Seven Noble Houses of Brussels. It was he who, with his brother Daniel, founded the Stalle chapel and gave it lands.
Dependent fiefs of the Lordship of Stalle
Fief of Overhem
This fief was located between the Dieweg and Stalle, it had a manor, a mill called Clipmolen, woods, and pasture. However, in 1465, Marguerite Hinckaert wife of Louis de Mailly, obtained from the sovereign the annexation of this fief to the Lordship of Stalle.
Fief of the Roetaert
This fief was located in Neerstalle, between the Kersbeek woods and the Ukkelbeek. Its surface amounted to 39.78 acres of land and meadows and it included the manor of Roetaert.
Uccle is mainly a residential area but has a lot of parks and forested areas, such as the Wolvendael Park and the Verrewinkel Woods. Wolvendael is the site of a 1763 castle, owned by a number of notable aristocrats from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Uccle Cemetery, also known as Dieweg Cemetery, was created following a cholera epidemic in Brussels in 1866. Although burials ended in 1958, the grave of Hergé, the creator of Tintin who died in 1983, can be found here.
^Henry de Pinchart, « Court historique du hameau de Stalle-sous-Uccle, in : le Folklore brabançon, March 1979, no 221, p. 71 à 110.
^Henry de Pinchart, « Court historique du hameau de Stalle-sous-Uccle », « Possesseurs », in : le Folklore brabançon, March 1979, no 221, p. 90.
^It belonged successively to: 1) Demoiselle Anne Marie Pauwels, widow of Sieur Henri van Nijs, per purchase on 19 July 1692 from the heirs of Guillaume Lemmens. 2) Lambert van der Meulen, husband of Élisabeth Cosyns, per purchase from the heirs of François Opdenbosch, on 22 November 1718. 3) Lambert Benoît François van der Meulen, his son, after his father's death. 4) Demoiselle Élisabeth van der Meulen (1720-1769), wife of Sieur Jean-Baptiste van Dievoet (1704-1776), on 24 October 1754. 5) François-Joseph van Dievoet (1754-1795) after his mother's death on 11 December 1769. 6) Demoiselle Marie Élisabeth van Dievoet (1752-1828), wife of Sieur Charles Marie Joseph Leyniers (1756-1822) per purchase from her brother François Joseph van Dievoet on 24 November 1784, ten years before the end of the Ancien Regime in modern day Belgium.