SUMMARY of: De Antwerpse Polder in de middeleeuwen. Ontginning, bedijking en overstromingen. Tijdschrift van de Belgische Vereniging voor Aardrijkskundige Studies 54 (1985) 43 - 77.

drs. K.A.H.W. Leenders

This study is a partial revision of the half century old description by Prims of the mediaeval evolution of the polder area north of Antwerp, the nowadays Port of Antwerp. It is shown that embankment was not a condition for the reclaimation of this lowlaying terrain, but drainaige was very important from the start. As a result, the peaty subsoil was spoiled by oxidation and compression. This was followed by the threat of floading by the river Sceldt. After building local ringdikes, in the middle of the 12th century a dike was build around the polder area, mostly with Antwerp capital. But ground level fell further. The situation deteriorated by the growing tide on the river, caused by the developing sea arms in Zeeland. Floods occurred with shortening intervals and culminated in a 57-year innundation of the northern part of de polder area. From 1340 onwards the new claysoil was being reclaimed. The southern part of the polders (Oosterweel c.a.) suffered less: only a thin claycover was deposited, perhaps mostly before embankement, leaving the mediaeval parcelling intact till the 20th century.

© Copyright : K.A.H.W. Leenders

August 2nd, 2023.