Receiving a falconry award
Selection of falconry hoods
Selection of falconry gauntlets
Selection of falconry bags
Custom made falconry hoods
Blocked Dutch falconry hoods being made
Online Falconry Equipment Store
About the Falconry Centre and Birds Of Prey Park
A cultural and historical heritage
Falconcrest, a two and a half hectar birds of prey wildlife park and falconry that is located in a culturally and historically rich area in Eindhoven the Netherlands.
Birds Of Prey Park, the begining
Falconcrest as it is today has taken more than ten years of dedication, planning, negication and construction become reality.
It was the unrelentless drive of Frans Lenders that made it possible.
Working with local communities and authorities to ensure the park and it's services were suitable for everyone was no easy task.
Turning an abandoned and in ruins farm into a people and nature freindly park for birds of prey needed extensive time and resources.
Dutch Falconry History
Falconry started in the east and was presumably brought to europe by the crusades.
Around the 10th century falconry starts to take form in the Netherlands.
People started trapping falcons on the open grounds around Valkenswaard, Arendonk and Turnhout.
Falcon catchers also became very skilled at making falconry equipment.
Karel Mollen, the grandson of the most famous Dutch falconer Adriaan Mollen, was a true master in the fabrication of falcon hoods, bells and bags which were sold all over the world after receiving the orders via mail.
Falcons that were trapped were put in a special falconbag, which saw to it that they were unable to move and then the falcons were hooded.
Once delivered to the falconer, the falcons were put in a falcon room, were given boots and jesses.
According to the tale, the falcons were then kept in this dark falcon room without a hood.
The falcon stayed in this room until it remained calm when light was introduced and again removed from the room.
The falconer would also spreak in a gentle tone to the falcon so that it got used to human voices.
The next step was to allow the falcon to be touched by humans.
All the training took place in the falcon room.
Here the birds were "tamed" and here they got used to humans and the gauntlet.
The falcon was fed only while on the gauntlet, and this allowed the bird to learn not to fear man and that the gauntlet was the place to get food.
Then the lure was introduced into the falcon room to teach the falcon that there was food in it as well.
These passive (and time consuming) methods produced such good results, that the Dutch falconers became known and famous throughout the world.
Dutch falconers received invitations from all corners of Europe to come and work in the service of the royalties.
All the European royalties knew all the falconers from Valkenswaard, Waalre and Arendonk.
Several falconers left to go into service of the foreign royalties to be falconers or even falconry masters.
Falconry was at that time extremely popular as sport and leasure activity with the gentry of Europe.
The French Revolution put an end to falconry with the gentry as they now had other things to atend to.
The Netherlands due to her soverenty was not affected by this falconry dip.
People still trapped falcons, but the demand for falcons fell drastically.
In Germany falconry carried on as normal, but in Britain it bloomed with the British becoming the largest falconry country.
In 1843 the royal falconry association "Het Loo" was created and Adriaan Mollen was appointed royal court falconer of king Willem III, due to lack of funding the association was stopped around 1855.
After this there is dark period for falconry in the Netherlands.
A revival of falconry in the Netherlands started again after the first world war, where Germany started falconry again and this then spread through to the rest of Europe again.
Karel Mollen, who in 1867 at the age of thirteen sitting alone in a catch hut on the 'Leenderhei' caught his first falcon, was a master falconry craftsman.
He also became famous for falcon training.
Later he became internationally famous for high quality falconry hoods, boots, bells, jesses and for other hunting apparel. For many years he supplied falconers with falcons as well as all the required falconry equipment and apparel.
On December the 31st, 1935, Karel Mollen dies and along with him the ancient occupation of proffesional falconer.
Did you know
Falconcrest's high quality standards in everything undertaken has made for some interesting facts.
Earning us the reputaion as true masters of the craft and some interesting and well known clients.
Eagle gauntlet for Helmut Kohl
Eagle gauntlet for George Bush
Eagle gauntlet made for Mikhail Gorbachev
We also supplier for the Royal Dutch Court, when travelling abroad to countries where falconry is actively practiced, Falconcrest is the prefered supplier of the falconry gifts they bear.