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Graafdijk-West 10-11 also known as the ‘Farm with the 3 stones

The gauge stones are striking on the facade, they remind us of three serious floods, one in 1741, one in 1809 and one in 1820. A calculation has been used to make the text rhyme. According to the painted year, the farm dates from 1740, most of the old construction also shows characteristics from that time.

Floods were so frequent that when farms were built, all kinds of facilities, both for people and animals, were installed to survive a flood. An upper room (higher room) or a water or flood room (= raised ground floor), for the animals there was a water attic, which is a place for cows in the hayloft.

The farm appears to have been rebuilt or largely renovated in 1740, but the east facade may contain some older parts. It is quite possible that this farm replaces a much older one. The heavy wooden trusses from the front to the rear facade seem to have been placed in one go. The farm may well have been renovated after the heavy flood of 1740/41. In previous years there had also been some very serious floods. There have been about forty floods in total, including a very large one, the All Saints Flood of 1570, when there was water in the Albasserwaard polders for 7 years.

Flat Stones

At the front of the bank of the Graafstroom river, you will see a scrubbing flat stone in the water. All cleaning work for the company and the household was done on this stone. This was possible in beautiful clean surface water at the time. Moreover, there was no other choice, water pipes did not exist yet! Does that seem strange to you, on the other side of the road? Remember that the largely unpaved road at the time was no wider than a cart track and that there was hardly any traffic on it. Most transport of goods and people was done by water.


Next to the stone a plaque has been placed by the Lions Club Alblasserwaard Souburg with a poem by Jos van Hest on it:

Tell stone
the clean story of the past
how the stone maid scrubbed and polished here
scrubbed barrels and tubs
scoured milk cans, washed vegetables
washed aprons, trousers and smocks
pulled dishes through the water
smiled at the farmhand who greeted her
how she a little later
looked into the mirror of clouds
saw heaven in the unsullied water
and in winter her red hands
in an ice hole

Jos van Hest

There are similar poems everywhere in the Alblasserwaard with the theme ‘Closer to the polder’.