In Middle-Ages, the belfry represented urban district liberties. Bethune's one dates back to 1346 when Eudes, duke of Burgundy and his wife Jeanne of France, decided to allow people to build their own belfry and to put bells in it.
Put up on wooden foundations, the edifice soon collapsed! Bethune's lord, Guillaume of Namur, authorized a second rebuilding made of stones, in 1388. At the highest point, they raised 4 turrets, rebuilt in 1437 then in 1832.