In 1428 the village was called Sente-Marien-Oudenhove. Presumably, the village is named after the old farm around which the community started to grow. At first it was a manor owned by Arnoldus en GhislenusLilar, both living in the castle of Lilare. Later the small village came into the hands of the Egmont family, who sold it, together with Michelbeke, to Pieter Blondel, who subsequently became baron of Michelbeke, Sint-Maria-Oudenhove and Rye.
Towards the end of the 19thcentury the village was renowned for its gloves, which were made in large quantities by many outworkers. Quickly Sint-Maria-Oudenhovedeveloped into a centre of a veritable glove industry. In 1975 Sint-Maria-Oudenhove was torn up in two. One part was added to Brakel, the other part to Zottegem. Sint-Maria-Oudenhove became only half a village.
Lilare Castle is a remnant of the manor of Lilare and dates back to the 12th century. The entire area is walled in. The castle can be accessed via a long lane, giving out onto a beautiful brick gatehouse with square spires and a stepped gable in Flemish renaissance style. The castle is an imposing building, full of grandeur. In 1933 the grounds were bought by the congregation of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi, who made the castle into a girls’ school.
Mijnwerkerspad. This footpath was named after the former railway which took miners from the Flemish Ardennes to the mines of the Borinage. The path is 6km long and has served as a foot and bicycle path for more than 30 years. Meanwhile its verges have become a valuable ecosystem.
Saint Anthony’s Chapel. This monumental church, located in Kasteeldreef, has a rich history. It was built in 1666, but has been renovated quite a number of times since then. The present appearance of the church is due the last of these renovations, which took place at the end of the 19th century.