On the basis of excavations it is esthablished that the Kemmelburg was inhabited before our era. From the end of the 5th century the area developed itself as an agricultural area. The village green is still a rememberance of such a cattle breeding settlement. Apart from cattle breeding Kemmel, Dranouter and Nieuwkerke also had a textile industry.
Because of te situation of the Heuvelland the region was often confronted with the French armies trying to enroll the area to France.
The darkest page from the history of the Heuvelland will always be World War 1. The dividing line between the Germans and the allied ran through the hills. During the battles for Hill 60, Hill 62, the Mesen hills and the Kemmelberg about 60.000 British soldiers lost their lives.
The second attack on Ieper did cost the lives of 70.000 allied soldiers and 100.000 German soldiers. An explosion of 19 sea mines, placed by the allied under a German camp in the hills of Mesen, resulted in a gigantic crater which is now a protected landmark and carries the name “Pool of Peace”. In April 1918 the slaughter on the Kemmelberg took place. For hours the allied were under fire of gasgranates and German planes. These bombardements killed about 5000 French soldiers. The monument on the Kemmelberg is their gravestone.
There are hundreds of military cemetaries in the Westhoek. These are being kept with respect and care by the Commonwealth War Graves Commision.
The Heuvelland still bears the scars of 14-18.