Het archeologisch onderzoek van de Kenenburg


  • Epco Bult
  • Arnold de Haan
  • Wilfried Messing
  • Jacques Moerman





The settlement Schipluiden dates from Roman times. During the second half of the 13th century extension of inhabitation changed Schipluiden into an independent parish with a parish church on the northern embankment of the canal the Gaag. In the 15th century the prominent castle Kenenburg was built in front of this church both buildings determining Schipluiden's skyline until the end of the 18th century. Archaeological research after this castle surrounded by moats has been carried out since 1966.

Excavations in 1989 could complete the castle's plan and incidentally called attention to previous traces of inhabitation both and artefacts from the castle's moat. Present-day research of buried homesteads approaches these castles as on top of the regional social hierarchy of agricultural settlements. All kinds of data must throw a light on the castle's role in its regional context. Research after the frontal and main castle traced potsherds of earthenware, which indicate inhabitation from the 12th till the 14th century. Excavated stone building has been dated as constructed at the end of the 14th or the beginning of the 15th century.

After digging the grooves for the foundations the moat round about the grounds was dug and thus the mowing field within these moats was enheightened with 1,5 m. The cellar was laid out at least one half below the new mowing field. Three engravings by Roelant Roghman (1646) reflect the Kenenburg's building process. Many remainders from before 1600 cannot be archaeologically defined anymore but excavations confirm Roghman's buildings after 1600 in detail.

The 15th and 16th century frontal castle was situated to the east, while as opposed to the site of the main castle the mowing field hardly has been enheightened. Delfland being inundated in the middle of the 12th century the count of Holland attracted financially strong to help at the reclamation and the restoration of the dikes. In exchange the investors obtained a piece of land on which they had built their homesteads on a put up hill. Characteristic is the presence of farms at these buried homesteads.

From the end of the 13th century these castles were built on a larger island surrounded by moats. Most of them have been demolished in the 14th century. According to the oldest discoveries on the site also Kenenburg came into being after the inundations. To the nobility sources of income consisted of the yields of their own landed estates and the rents and rights they exercised in a certain area. The possession of seigniories was the foundation of the nobility's political power.

Studying buried homesteads one has to pay attention to the rights and properties the owner obtained in the course of time. Built on St. Maartenrecht's western point the Kenenburg was assured of this seigniory. Expansion of seigniorial rights only was possible in the 16th century, when Kenenburg became the seat of the Lord of Maasland, Schipluiden and St. Maartensrecht. When Philips van Dorp died childlessly in 1411 Philips de Blote had built a new Kenenburg surrounded by moats. Philips probably used the foundations and rising walls of his predecessors.

The frontal castle of Kenenburg at the time must have been a very impressive building in Delfland, which impressiveness probably can be connected with the castle's upper local agricultural-economical function. The next owner Otto van Egmond had executed several alterations in the middle of the 16th century. The Kenenburg's fast rebuilding after the dismantling by the Spanish occupation as well as the fact Otto van Egmond was capable of buying the seigniories Maasland and Schipluiden points to a large financial capacity.

In 1642 the sale of household goods and properties was started and in 1798 the Kenenburg definitively has been demolished. Discoveries from the castle's moats must provide a better insight into the Kenenburg's agricultural-economical position than at the moment is being revealed by historical sources. Thus these discoveries must explain the building of the impressive frontal castle and the role this important buried homestead has played in Delfland's agricultural economy of the 15th and 16th century.

Biografieën auteurs

Epco Bult

Drs E. J. Bult studeerde middeleeuwse archeologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Voor de ROB en de Landinrichtingsdienst verrichtte hij o.a. regionaal archeologisch onderzoek in Midden-Delfland. De bewoningsgeschiedenis van de middeleeuwen met nadruk op de begraven hofsteden in het gebied heeft zijn speciale interesse. Momenteel is hij als archeoloog verbonden aan de Rijksdienst voor het Oudheidkundig Bodemonderzoek.

Arnold de Haan

M. J. A. de Haan trad na zijn opleiding, o.a. aan de middelbare landbouwschool, in dienst bij de Rijksdienst voor het Oudheidkundig Bodemonderzoek. Als archeologisch veldtechnicus verrichtte hij voor deze dienst in de afgelopen twintig jaar een zeer groot aantal opgravingen, de laatste jaren in toenemende mate gericht op de middeleeuwen.

Wilfried Messing

Drs W. A.M. Messing studeerde middeleeuwse geschiedenis en prehistorie aan de Rijks Universiteit Leiden. Hij was als wetenschappelijk assistent en wetenschappelijk onderzoeker verbonden aan de Rijksdienst voor het Oudheidkundig Bodemonderzoek en de Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek. Momenteel is hij provinciaal archeoloog van Zuid-Holland.

Jacques Moerman

Drs J. Moerman studeerde vaderlandse geschiedenis aan de Rijks Universiteit Leiden Hij verricht archiefonderzoek naar de adellijke bewoners van de Keenenburg en hun bezittingen. Hij is als docent geschiedenis verbonden aan een middelbare school in Delft en voorzitter van de Historische Vereniging Oud-Schipluiden.




Bult, E., de Haan, A., Messing, W., & Moerman, J. (1990). Het archeologisch onderzoek van de Kenenburg. Bulletin KNOB, 89(5), 2–11. https://doi.org/10.7480/knob.89.1990.5.525