Zeddam – Manorial mill
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Zeddam
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Zeddam – Manorial mill

Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill

The mill in Zeddam dates from the 15th century and is the oldest surviving tower mill in the Netherlands. The mill dates from the time when the counts and local gentry were entitled to the manorial rights of the windmills, known as wind rights. Opposite the current mill are the remains of the horse-driven mill.

Wind rights
In the Middle Ages the lords of Bergh claimed the rights to the land, the wind, and the water. Farmers could lease a piece of land, but also had to pay taxes to their lord as well, sometimes in kind. The lords of Bergh also owned the wind rights, which meant that the farmers were obliged to mill their grain in one of the lord’s mills. The lords of Bergh received twice the income, and if there was no wind, the horse-powered mill opposite would be used instead.

Driving force
During the French period (1795-1814), most medieval privileges were abolished and from that time on, anyone was at liberty to start their own mill. It was at this time that the mill in Zeddam was taken into private ownership. Even though steam-powered machines had not been invented yet, the mills were already the driving force behind the economy. Thanks to the 1.5-metre-thick walls, the mill in Zeddam has stood up to the ravages of time very well. During WWII, the mill served as an observation post for the Germans as well as a refuge for local residents.

Sabotage
There is an interesting tale about the mill. It is a tale about the miller, Reinier Jansen. In 1663, the lease on the mill expired and Reinier Jansen was to be replaced by Tonnis Ariaens. Ariaens had made a better offer to the landlords which made Reinier very resentful. He decided to take revenge on the new miller by replacing the new sails with old ones just before he handed over the mill. The miller´s helper went a step further and greased the brakes with pig fat (lard) so that the mill would not be able to slow down. Fortunately, the deception was discovered before any accidents could happen, and the miller´s helper was fined heavily and banished from the Achterhoek region.

Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill
Zeddam – Manorial mill