Nice story getting a new chapter
By Richard Stiggers
Historic complex De Oude Vos in Witchmond has been nominated for the 2022 Bronckhorst Memorial Award, as are the houses at Molenkolkweg (numbers 12 to 34) in Steenderen. The winner will be announced on August 30 and the award ceremony will take place on September 7 at 20.00 during the inaugural Heritage Days meeting at Remigiuskerk in Hengelo Gld. Heritage Days are on September 10 and 11.
Bronckhurst/Witchmond – Jan Gap and Lyda Zwart instantly fell in love with De Oude Vos farm in Witchmond. They bought the nostalgic building with a penthouse on a plot of 11,000 square meters at the end of 2018 and it has been beautifully renovated. “The historic complex has a really nice story and we’ve just added a new chapter to it,” says Jean-Jap Zwart.
Sustainability is the theme of this year’s Heritage Days. Sustainability was an important starting point in the restoration of De Oude Vos at 7 Lankhorsterstraat in Wichmond. The Bronckhurst Municipal Antiquities Committee was impressed by the effort to modernize the farm while preserving its character. It is believed that “the new owner restored the monument with great respect and attention to detail.” “A balance has been sought in a very attractive and disciplined way between preserving the monumental characteristics of the exterior and interior and adapting them to the demands of today’s living.”
The Commission hit the nail on the head with this. After the renovation, the farm is ready for the future and even before the music. “The gas connection has been disconnected. This is very interesting given the dire situation surrounding the gas and the huge increase in prices. We heat and cool with a heat pump, which is very convenient by underfloor heating,” says Jan Gap. solar, and a completely new installation of electricity, heating and insulation measures.” Usually, old farms use a lot of energy. This is prevented here by adequately insulating the roof, walls, and floors.” The result is a lower energy bill. The farmhouse feel and appearance had to be preserved. This is why the original single-glazed windows are still intact. The shutters prevent too much heat loss.
The oldest historical complex in Wichmond is mentioned in 1652. Toenys in ‘t Vosken was the ancestor name of De Oude Vos. The current farm dates back to circa 1880. It has a front house and part with beautiful old buttresses. Before the current owners bought it, it had been owned by the Maan family for a long time. Until nearly twenty years ago, the mixed farm was still farmed with cows, pigs, and some arable farms. Old photos of the family adorn the wall.
There is a shed all the way on the plot. The Lankhorsterstraat was an important trade route from Zutphen to Germany. The horse and carriage dealers at De Oude Vos, then down, were called as a place to stop. The horse was installed in the car park. One can sleep on the floor. “We think the story and the setting are very special. It has a rich history, which is what makes it special.” The huge barn has also not been restored to its former glory. This is a wish for later. The farm itself has already been renovated. Pictures show that it was a major renovation. “We didn’t see any bears on our way, but in the end a lot happened.” For example, the front roof of the house was in poor condition. The tracks collapsed and the asbestos had to be removed. The hood was shot, the roof is insulated, the latter also happened in the outer walls. Roof tiles, as well as gutters, can be reused. “Upstairs was a large open space that you could only enter with a ladder. We created a fixed staircase, a bedroom and a bathroom.” A living kitchen has been created in the basement where there are two bedrooms.
The part still appears exactly in previous times. You can still see cows, pigs, and horses, so to speak. “The atmosphere really appeals to us. We have enough space in the front house, so it can be maintained that way.” The part, with a half-thatched roof, had a floor of slats, which are logs of sawn spruce. It has been removed.”
The garden was treated, there was a hedge of split oak poles and a vegetable garden. Fruit trees, chickens and sheep also appeared. Pool hedges and shrubs were created in collaboration with the Nature Society ‘t Onderholt.
Jan-Jaap and Leida went into full business and engaged local firms for the renovation, such as architect Warc from Steenderen, carpentry firm Jolink from Hummelo and de Nieuwe Warm from Halle. “We cooperated with ourselves and the neighborhood was also helpful.” Overall, the renovation was a great investment. The additional costs due to the state of the municipal monument were offset to some extent by a small subsidy. “We are proud of the end result and live here with great pleasure. If we win the Monument award, we will organize a barbecue for the people who have made a contribution. This would end the project in a nice way.”