Historical-geographical research in Brabant by K.A.H.W. Leenders

Curriculum vitae

I am a historical-geographer with a special interest in landscape history. My main region of special interests is a more or less square area (1400 sqmi) east of the line Antwerp - Rotterdam. About half of it is in Belgium, the rest in The Netherlands. In 1985 I got the Belgian historical award "Pro Civitate" for my study over landscape-changes and economic development in connection with the anthropogene disapearance of a Holocene peatlayer in this region. This study was published in 1989:

Leenders, K.A.H.W.. Verdwenen Venen. Een onderzoek naar de ligging en exploitatie van thans verdwenen venen in het gebied tussen Antwerpen, Turnhout, Geertruidenberg en Willemstad. 1250-1750. Brussel/Wageningen, 1989. [ISBN 90-5066-053-3; ISSN 0774-3122] See the summary or/ou le résumé. An update of this book was published in 2013. It is sold out.

On November 21, 1996 I defended in Amsterdam succesfully my PhD-thesis (summary) (résumé français) over the history of "my" area during the middleages (400 - 1350 AD). This study looks at the repopulation after the Romans had left, development of villages and a few little cities, incorporation of the region in medieval "states" like the duchy of Brabant and the county of Holland and again the interaction man-nature. In this period the region was predominantly rural.
In this study I use archaeological and toponymical evidence, trace the creation and splitting up of parishes and explore the possibilities to use the identification of allodia as indicators for "early" settlement. About 100 maps and other figures illustrate the argument.

Together with 32 authors I have worked under prof. H. van den Eerenbeemt (editor) on a 3-tome "History of the province of North-Brabant, 1796 - 1996.". The three tomes were published in 1996 and 1997. My task was to describe the history of the landscape in this province in the period 1796 - 1996.

I contributed to the Nationale(i.e. Dutch) Research Plan for the Archaeology, part 22: The Middleages and Early Modern Times in the southern part of the Netherlands. This Plan was published in 2007. Also I am involved in the evaluation report 2015 as far as western North-Brabant concerns.

In 2012 I published a heritage guide for the former peat digging region south of Roosendaal. This book is illustrated with beautiful photos by Stefan De Wickere.

Since November 2012 I am member of the Flamish department of the Royal Committee for Toponymy & Dialectology in Brussels. I n that context, I participated in the publication of the two-volume work De Vlaamse Waternamen. and in De Vlaamse gemeentenamen. Verklarend woordenboek. Tweede, grondig herziene en vermeerderde uitgave. Leuven (Peeters), 2022.

In 2015 the book De dynamische hoeve. Veranderingen in boerderijgebouwen en hun omgeving in de Meierij van 's-Hertogenbosch 1662-2015 was published. What now is seen as a typical Brabant farm is a building with brick walls carrying a roof that is mainly covered with reed with 5 rows of tiles. On the yard there are few or none outbuildings. The farm of 1662 had a completely different character. What changed? How, why and when? That is described in the book De dynamische hoeve (The dynamical farm).

In cooperation with Willem van Ham WBOOKS published reproductions sized 1 square meter of both the Gastel Map (1565) and the Mauritsmap (1590), with a 128 page description: Polders in kaart Noord-West Brabant 1565-1590.

in coorperation with T. Kappelhof and J.W. Messer, under redaction of P. Klep the Historische Atlas van Breda was published in 2021.


My publications concern the historical geography of the Dutch province North-Brabant and the Belgian province Antwerp, but also demography en astronomy.
See list of publications

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Version: August 2nd, 2023.

© Copyright : K.A.H.W. Leenders