Just outside the town of Heemskerk, in the western direction, there is an old monument. If you don’t know it is there, you may never notice it. I passed by there and never was aware it was there. And now I know it is there, I really wonder how I ever could have missed it.
On this articial land raise of about 2 meters in the past the Counts of Holland inaugurated as the Lords of Kennemerland, such as Albrecht van Beieren (1361) and Jan IV van Brabant (1418). For that reason this place is also known as “Huldtoneel” (which roughly translates as “Honor Stage”). By this inaugurated the people of Kennemerland accepted the new count as their lord.
It is also said that in the past on this location a jugde spoke his judgement about issues involving the citizen of Kennemerland.
Excavations alsp showed that in the far past this place was used for sacrificing. Many items where found, but sadly all are lost over time. At least there seems to be a very accurate list of what has been found there.
The Huldtoneel is completely surrounded by trees and hedges. The special thing here is that all the trees and shrubs are of native origin. We can see an ash, summer oak, elder, hawthorn, rowan, beech, holly, willow and blackthorn. The hedge to the street side is of hornbeam.
The monument has three sides and on these sides texts are displayed:
(Gifted by v. Engegeest and his wife MJ Deutz, Assendelft, established 1863)
“DE GRAVEN VAN HOLLAND WERDEN HIER NAAR OVERLEVERING ALS HEEREN VAN KENNEMERLAND GEHULDIGD”
(According history the Counts of Holland were established here als the Lords of Kennemerland)
“WANDELAAR WIL DIT GEDENKTEKEN EERBIEDIGEN”
(Wanderer, please respect this monument)
I have to admit that I really like to learn this kind of historical places and stories. It is one of the reasons why I became member of de “Historische Kring Heemskerk” (“Historical Circle Heemskerk”). And apart from all the wonder historical stories and facts I learn this way, I also get nice places to make photo’s. And it has to be said: Heemskerk has a very rich history!!!
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