Lead right lines

If you look at satellite images you will immediately notice that the landscape of Veenhuizen does not at all fit in its environment. Just try it with Google maps: you will see a former colony of straight lines and perpendicular corners amidst fantastic peat moorlands and a twisting brook. Veenhuizen has a so-called orthogonal structure: the lanes, canals and junction canals form lead right lines. You could just check it with a ruler. The colony was spaciously set up, with a main canal and six junction canals perpendicular to it. Three square-shaped asylums were built, surrounded by agricultural plots which were worked by the inmates.

Many of the peat moors have been cultivated in the course of the centuries; however, fortunately a significant part of this vulnerable nature has been preserved. Between the village and nature there are lead right forest parcels with long lanes – it once was agricultural land but at the end of the nineteenth century trees were planted there because of a shortage of inmates.

Two of the six junction canals have (in part) remained intact or were restored. And also some locks, earth lanes with stately oaks and beeches and a historical draw-bridge show some of the original landscape of Veenhuizen.

Fortunately, there still are some magnificent old maps and photos showing the historical landscaping in its full splendour.