Restoration of listed house "De beurs van Londen" in Delft
Restoration of listed house "De beurs van Londen" in Delft
Help us restore the listed canal house "De beurs van Londen", dating from 1544, with its unique beam paintings and open it as a museum.
Help us restore the listed canal house "De beurs van Londen", dating from 1544, with its unique beam paintings and open it as a museum. Read more
Help us restore the listed canal house called “De beurs van Londen | The stock of London” in Delft dating from 1544 with unique beam paintings and partly open it as a museum.
The canal house is located in the centre of Delft on the Oude Delft, the main street of the city. Our first visit to the house took place in March 2013. We were impressed by the size of the house, the way how its various parts dating from different time periods are combined with each other and the quite horrible condition of the house. It took us several months to understand how to give this house a new life. During this time we tried to collect as much as possible information about the history of the house.
The first mention of it was in 1555: the building was a barn belonging to the house of the sheriff of Delft. However, in 1578 the son of the sheriff rebuilt the barn into a house big enough for the time period. The house is already visible on the map of Delft dating from 1581, accompanied by another separate two-storied house standing behind it: the back-house.
As time passed the two buildings were connected and became one house. In the 18th century the house was once again expanded by the addition of a building adjacent to the side of the back-house. A large scale renovation of the whole house took place in 1850. The house received a completely new gable, at the front and back, and a second floor was added to the front- and back-house. The side house received an additional floor as well. Every part of the house has unique features of its time and tells its own story.
From 1623 to 1625 Englishmen inhabited the house and it got named “De beurs van Londen”. The house kept this name until the renovation of 1850. Recent research into the history of the house led to some speculations that cannot yet be proved. The house could have been visited by the English traveller William Brereton, famous for his diary, and could have been the residence of merchant and head of court Sir Edward Misselden (author of “The Circle of Commerce”).
Until 1906, the house had always been inhabited by respectable and rich people. From that year it respectively became a tobacco and cigar factory, a tea and coffee trade house and a printing house for school textbooks. After the Second World War it once again became inhabited. Since the beginning of the 20th century the house has not been properly maintained and finally became a student accommodation.
Since the beginning of 2014, we, Ronald and Olga van Dijk, started to restore the house while renting it. The plans for 2014 were to organise regular financing to purchase and restore the house. During the rental period the restoration consisted of removing all recent hardboard to discover the true condition and features of the listed building.
Dendrochronological research carried out in 2008 by Delft University of Technology showed that the beams on the first floor of the oldest part of the house (what was originally the barn) date from 1544. In April 2014 we started to remove the paint off the beams using a hot air blower and a scraper.
Almost immediately under the fat layer of yellow paint, we discovered floristic ornaments on the first three beams. The fourth and seventh beam prepared a real surprise for us, as we found hunting scenes painted on them. According to the fashion of the depicted figures, the paintings date back to 1620: the time when Englishmen inhabited the house. These kind of hunting scenes were not common in Holland and have many similarities with scenes depicted on English Tudor tapestry from the same historical period.
The building has been in the centre of attention of Dutch National Heritage ever since. Following a press release from the Dutch National Heritage, reportages on the unique discovery appeared in Dutch national and international media.
On September 13th & 14th 2014, the house was opened for visitors. 959 people used this opportunity: they admired the paintings, enjoyed the historical tour through the house and left the building with great delight.
We want to move further with our plans to restore the house and partly open it as a museum where people can always come and see the unique beam paintings from 1620 together with a guided historical tour through the history of the house. We did hope to get financial support from the Dutch government in order to realise our plans. However, it turned out that the authorities have only been interested in the project up until the moment of its financing.
Due to the fact that the house requires a large restoration, we do not have money for both buying the house and for its restoration. Only with your help we can guarantee the safe existence of the building with its unique paintings. Only with your help we can guarantee that people can come to the museum and admire the restored house with their own eyes.
The University of Amsterdam will be closely involved in the restoration of the beam paintings. The Delft Authorities have already agreed for a temporary permission for opening the house as a museum during its restoration. This opens the additional opportunity for visitors of the museum to experience the process of the restoration.
For an overview of all our steps a Facebook page has been created and can be visited at 'www.facebook.com/debeursvanlonden'. There you will be able to find additional information about future activities.
IF I CONTRIBUTE TO THIS PROJECT, WHAT WILL THE MONEY FUND?
If the fundraiser reaches Euro 225,000, we will have enough money for the following steps:
- primary restoration of the house: roof, drainage, outside walls, windows
- virtual museum: an online virtual museum (situation after completed restoration)
- equipment: new electrical-water-gas-sewers installation, air conditioning system
- rewards: preparation and shipping of the gifts created and manufactured specifically for this project to all the backers.
- media campaign: the constant communication and activities with the media in order to let the house be known everywhere and allow a fruitful fundraising campaign around the world.
Risks and challenges
The most important challenge for us is to reach Euro 225,000 to finance the project. If we reach the goal, the restoration work will start and the house will be opened as museum.
We have chosen a highly qualified restoration company which already worked with listed buildings.
Our deadline for the restoration is end 2015.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)