Halderberge, a history of over 7 centuries
The municipality of Halderberge was founded on the 1st of January 1997 after the fusion of the municipalities of Hoeven, Oudenbosch, Oud- en Nieuw Gastel and the villages Bosschenhoofd and Stampersgat. The municipalities fused because of an regional reorganisation in the Provice of Noord-Brabant. The name Halderberge not only symbolises the historical connection of the villages, but also reminds us of the historical background from which the villages developed and evolved.
From the year 1275 the cisterciënzer Abbey of St. Bernard of Hemiksem got a lot of rights and goods in the villages Gastel, Hoeven and Oudenbosch. A gift from Arnout van Leuven, heir of Breda, in December of that same year, marks the entry of the Abbey in this region. In a certificate dating 6 December 1298, the heir of Breda confirms the rights and powers of the Abbey. In this document "the Land of Halderberge" is often written.
Between the 12th and 16th century, new settlements were founded. On strategical locations farmers, peat-cutters and captain build their houses. Around the 16th century, the peat-cutting stopped. During the 80-year war, the region suffered from epidemics and a lot of people fled. From 1648, people slowly started coming back to the region and started rebuilding. That's when the current villages emerged.
The name: "Halderberge"
It's hard to say where the toponym "Halderberge" comes from. A first explanation is the origin of "Halreberg".. Where Harle meant sandy hill or a bush on a high sand ground. THe second explanation can be found in the German language, where Halu means "sloping down" and Berga means hill or mountain.
Symbol of the municipal past
By naming the municipality "Halderberge" the Monks of the last Abbey of Saint Bernard where honoured for their work in exploring the grounds within this region and starting the communities which later grew into the villages Gastel, Hoeven and Oudenbosch. The villages Stampersgat and Bosschenhoofd come from a later age.
Oudenbosch and the Rich Catholic life
The growing Catholicism made the population grow as well, which resulted in more churches, priests, more education and hospitals. The rich catholic life made the region prosper. In the 19th century Oudenbosch developed into an (religious) educative centre. You can still see and feel a lot of the Catholic life in Oudenbosch. The most obvious relic of this time is the Basilica, which dominates the landscape. This Basilica was built between 1865 and 1892. The initiative for building the Basilica was pastor Hellemons, who had a fascination for the buildings in Vatican-city. He won the hearts and souls of over 3.000 inhabitants of Oudenbosch and build his Basilica. But long before that time, with the Abbey of St. Bernard, religion had a big part in the lifes of those who lived here. One of the first buildings in the region was a chapel, build around 1297.
Oud- and Nieuw Gastel and Stampersgat
The history of Oud and Nieuw Gastel (Old- and New Gastel) goes back a long way as well, to 1275. Around the year 1551 a new settlement was built, just outside of Oud-Gastel, called Nieuw Gastel. During the 80 year war the reclaimed land where Nieuw Gastel was built was flooded to prevent the Spanish army to move further forward. When the land was reclaimed 9 years later, the village was gone and never rebuilt.
The origin of Stampersgat lies within the shipping industry because of its location next to the "Dintel"-canal, when the family Janz. Stamper settled there with his family. In the year 1810, Stampersgat merged with Oud- and Nieuw Gastel into a new municipality. Most of the population worked in farming. Madder or "Meekrap" was largely produced here and used as red coloring. Later, multiple sugar- and dairy companies settled down here.
The name of the village Hoeven suggests a farm or "Hoeve" gave the name to this village, but around the 13th century a "hoeve" was a square measure for 12 hectare. 1 "hoeve" of ground was enough to have a farm. By selling 100 hoeve to the Abbey of St. Bernardus, the history of Hoeven starts. One of the most special buildings in Hoeven is Monastery/Hotel Bovendonk, a beautifull neogotic monument, built by the monks of the Abbey as headquarters from where they governed the region. After several reconstructions the current building was built in the 19th century.
Within Halderberge, Bosschenhoofd is without doubt the youngest village. Between 1840 and 1860, the first roads were constructed so that the few people who lived in this area could start the community. The first school was built in 1882 followed by a church in 1886. The name Bosschenhoofd comes from the "Hoofd" the transferring station for peat just north of modern day Bosschenhoofd.