Some houses which look fairly modern and no older then 80 years old turn out to have a long history once you start digging into the relevant archives.
To cut a long story short it was already known in family circles that the place actually had a name: it was called Jericho.
Click @ blue lined pictures to enlarge
Searching for old data of the area I came accross a 1701 map of the polder of Nieuwenhoorn which had the name Jircho written down exactly on the spot where the current house is. Another map of 1695 also revealed that the piece of land on which Jircho is based also had a name: Kerkhoek and including a number for the exact location : 53.
Further enquiry at the local archive showed that "Kerkhoek 53" also showed up in a book from 1635 which was created for tax reasons.
So it can safely be assumed that Jericho is actually much older then it looks. But when was it build? That is a question that can not be easily answered. A quick guess at this stage would be that it was build as a farmhouse in the 15th century shortly after the polder Nieuwenhoorn was reclaimed in 1368. But most probably before 1568 as after that date most farmhouses were no longer constructed from oak frames. It was build at a higher part of the polder previously known as Smeethil.
Artist impression of Jericho around 1800 based on the paintings of J. Verheul
Jericho as it stands today (viewed from the east)
The charter which regulates the local situation immediately after the land was reclaimed states that part of the newly created polder became property of the church (build from 1425 on) so that the harvest of the land could support the church's income. A neigbouring farmhouse also within the Kerkhoek is called Ararat also a name choosen from the Bible, which may also have been a church owned farm. A nearby Windmill was already in use in 1418.
Jericho was erected as a Hall type farm (hallehuis) dived into three sections. A large middle section of approximately 6 meter wide and two adjoining sections of approximately 2,5 meter wide. The whole structure was created as an oak framework,
Section through the farm How the basic frame was made
Some of this framework can still be found back in the existing inner walls. In holland this construction is called "ankerbalk systeem". The outside walls were probably in the first place a combination of oak timbers with straw and clay infill, possibly later covered by just wooden planks.
From the 17th century on building bricks became widely available in Holland and most farmhouses were gradually transformed from wood/plaster into stone buildings. Roofs stayed thached for at least two more centuries.
One of the oak main supports which has stood the test of time
It is hard to establish when exactly, but at some stage a cellar was created in the north east corner of the building using second hand bricks.
These bricks (24x11x6,5cm) are confirmed to originate from the remains of a nearby 12th century Tower which was destroyed by water around 1300. Above the cellar a room was created and to give that enough head room the roof on the north side was raised. Some marks in the internal walls make me believe that they were already stone before the roof was raised.
The cellar floor excaveted in 1999
In the early days of Jerichio cattle and people all lived under one roof. It is not untill the early 18th century that social developments demanded seperate quarters for cattle and people. There is an official inventory describing the farm around 1740 where it can be read that the buildings were actually devided up into working and living quarters. Centrepiece of the living quarters in 1740 was a large kitchen with a hughe fire place and chimney which was still around in the 1920's. A huge oak beam, with some late gothic motif, which supported the chimney and dated as 17th century, is still around.
The fireplace support beam now in another function
Cast iron fire back found back near the stables acting as an ascent
Jericho on the 1820 "Kadaster" map with a large shed north of the farmhouse and "summerhouse" on the south side
The 1740 situation was still present untill the late 19th century when the shed attached to the house must have been demolished. It still shows up on the 1820 map together with some other outbuildings some of which have disappeared. In a 1865 charter the shed which was attached to the farmhouse is no longer there.
One seperate building, obviously build in stone from the start and much later then the original farm is still standing today. In some charters it is called "de keet". It also had a large chimney and fire place, traces of which can still be seen. This building probably acted as living quarters for the summer period. These buildings were also often referred to as "bakhuis" where cheeese was made and bread was being baked.
Jericho from the south west today
Jericho from the south west in approx. 1890
Jericho from the north west in February 1927
The outside and some of the inside walls have been replaced during the 1920-1955 period but the earliest lay out based on the three section plan can still be seen today.
What is left of Jericho is the basic lay out of the living quarters of the firstly build farmhouse but heavily modified and modernised. Also the old summer house is still present but also heavily modified. If you look close you will notice that the house is very crooked and far from square. Also the roof is extremely disformed with the ridge not parralel to the side walls. Although the very first building must have been fairly square in layout I suppose that through time and wind the whole construction must have been disformed. Whenever walls were replaced they simply followed the existing shapes without squaring the whole thing up.
Who lived @ Jericho?
The earliest person who lived at Jericho I could track down was Cryne Pauwelszoon. He lived there in 1635 when the taxman wrote down his belongings. He owned the farmhouse and a bit of land around it but most of the land was hired from the church.
In 1704 Jericho was owned by Tonis Leendert Pille
Next owner I could trace was Cornelis Jansz. Kroon, who died off illness in August 1740, leaving his wife and son with a huge debt. It was this financial disaster that led to a full description of the farm and Cornelis's possessions and debt by the town clerk of Nieuwenhoorn. Obviously Cornelis was in need of money before as he already sold some land in May 1725.
Total debt of Cornelis at the time of his death was 3624 Guilders. A hughe amount if you consider that the farm was auctioned for only 150 Guilders some weeks after his death.
One of the crediters was Eewout Hoffsteede, a local builder, to whom he owed 146 Guilders for materials and works to the farm. This huge sum makes it obvious that Cornelis Kroon was most likely responsible for the major 18th century alterations to Jericho.
Extremely interesting is the description made by the town clerk of all the rooms and buildings on the farm. Through this very detailed survey it can exactly be established what was inside the house. Literally every cup and saucer is mentioned.
Next owner, who bought it at the auction was Arij Vingerlingh, who still owned it in 1746.
Then in August 1759 a Willem van den Ban is mentioned as owner together with the children of Evert van Eijk.
September 1801 a map of the dike is made mentioning Henry den Oriden as owner.
In 1835 a rather special owner is Jean de Rouville, a lawyer living in the nearby town Brielle.
In 1853 Jericho is owned by Jan Lensveld an inn keeper from the nearby town Hellevoetsluis. It is not unlikely that by that time the shed north of the farm and the shed attached to the farmhouse had both been demolished and that the farmhouse itself was divided up into seperate "appartments" to be rented out to several households.
In 1876 Jan's son Cornelis takes over the ownership, probably after his fathers death.
Then in 1901 Jericho, in a bad state of repair, is being bought by Jacob Jacobsz. den Bakker and ownership stays in the same family.
Jacob Jacobsz. den Bakker on the right of the front row. The picture was taken around 1910 at the east wall under the window above the cellar.
When Andries den Bakker sells his last cow in 1966 it is the end of farm activities at Jericho after more then 500 years.
During renovations in 1999 this picture was made in the room which was once "The Kitchen" after all wall and ceiling covering was taken off. The original door which was still around was temporaly put back in place and an oil lamp added to create some atmosphere.
Also during the renovations some old timber was found in a wall when creating a new doorway
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