The purpose of this house was to defend the border between the earldom of Gelre and the bishopric of Utrecht. The Stoutenburg Estate near Leusden therefore has a long history. The history of the estate begins as a bishop’s castle from the 13th century which possibly came about from an even older tower or ‘keep’ from the 11th century. Construction started on the castle in 1259. On 12th June 1259, the day that Amersfoort received city rights from bishop Henry I of Vianden, Lord Walter of Amersfoort, Sheriff of Eemland, established himself at Stoutenburg. In return for access to this castle, the then-Bishop of Utrecht granted Amersfoort city rights. The bishop used the castle to gather his soldiers.
In 1948, the religious order of the Minderbroeders Franciscanen bought the neglected house and made it into a monastery. The monks left the building at the end of 1990 in order to make room for the Community of the Franciscan Environment Project or ‘Environmental Monastery’. The community has since left and the house currently has 'minders' who keep an eye on it.