Gaanderense Iron Mill

near Rekhemseweg 175, 7004 HD Gaanderen/Doetinchem
GPX: 51.944049478789786, 6.342470412970119

A historical location for the industrial development of the Netherlands. The first Dutch blast furnace/iron foundry was established here in 1689. Josias Olmius received permission to build an iron mill (blast furnace/iron foundry with water wheel) here at Bielheimer Brook to melt locally mined ore into cast iron for casting cannonballs and "bombs". 

The company was shut down around 1810. The owners at the time, who also owned the iron foundry in Laag Keppel, moved the tools and machinery to the foundry in Laag Keppel, and the blast furnace on Bielheimerbeek was demolished. The waterwheel at this site operated until well into the twentieth century for a miller's business.

In the past decades, this company was often referred to as the Renkhemse Iron Mill, but that is historically incorrect. The correct name is Gaanderense Iron Mill.

Years ago, several moulds for cannonballs that had been dumped back in the day were found here during excavation work. They are a special reference to this early industry and are set up as a memorial on the bridge over the stream. There are plans to rebuild the Gaanderen Iron Mill as a museum.

Places of interest in the area
Near the Gaanderense Iron Mill:

TOP & Restaurant 't Onland, Rekhemseweg 175 - Doetinchem

't Onland is located in the Wrange, a beautiful piece of nature between Doetinchem and Gaanderen. 't Onland has been an inn since 1790, where travelling merchants rested their horses. Once they recharged themselves and had a bite to eat and drink, they could complete their journey. Around 1950, when cows still grazed outside, the barn was converted into a party room. Years later, the farming business stopped making way for the catering business. Most of the building was destroyed by a fierce fire in 1980, after which it was rebuilt in its original state.

The Koekendaal, the forest between Doetinchem and Gaanderen, consists of deciduous and pine forest with a bee pasture, play area, animal pasture, petting zoo and fields. The play area and animal pasture comprise 13 hectares of Koekendaal. The forest area is great for walking.

Slangenburg estate is located between Doetinchem and Varsseveld. This vast area—600 hectares—is managed by the Forestry Commission. A beautiful estate where culture and nature come together. It consists of a characteristic castle, woods, a park with ponds, an orchard and giant oaks. The paths, ponds and moats were laid out in the 17th century according to a geometric pattern.

The castle, a prime example of 17th-century architecture in the Netherlands, now serves as a guesthouse for Benedictine monks. However, the castle is hospitably open to anyone who longs for peace, quiet, reflection and good care. The Benedictine monks live in St Willibrord's Abbey, which is a 20-minute walk from the castle.

Various hiking routes, ranging from 4 to 13 kilometres in length, start at TOP 't Onland.