Loyal to the French crown during the Hundred Years War, Bethune was granted the right to erect a belfry in 1346. Forty-two years later, the aldermen built a tower in Bethune sandstone, an extremely hard stone, to replace the wooden tower that had been destroyed by fire.
It was completed in 1503 with a bell-tower topped by a dragon, the famous Beffy, which watches over the town. The structure is a perfect example of mediaeval architecture in the regions of the Nord.
In 1918, Bethune suffered massive bombing. The belfry was decapitated, but its base was intact, protected by the houses that had clustered close to its walls over the years. Rebuilt in the 1920s, it has been floodlit with a coloured mosaic every evening since 2004.