The Harstenhoek is a protected dune area near Meijendel where you can spot many foxes, among other things. Scheveninger Peter Roeleveld is fascinated by the beautiful nature reserve. For indebuurt he dived into the history of the Harstenhoek.

The name Harstenhoek

In the year 1768 Leendert van der Harst enters the story about the Harstenhoek. Leendert lived on 913 until 1768 and was a well-known appearance in Scheveningen. He was a fisherman, dune farmer and horse owner and meant a lot to the Harstenhoek.

Leendert was given the task by the magistrate (the city council) to use his horses to bring the fishing boats that came back from the sea to draw the country. At that time there was no harbor yet and the people of Schevening fished with flat-bottomed boats. For the draft work, Leendert had such a 73 horses and for pulling one barge on the beach and to the sea he used five horses.

Illustration from 1870. Source Haags Gemeentearchief

There are no photos of the time that Leendert was busy with his horses on the beach, but this illustration from 1851 (100 years later) shows it well. All those horses had to have a place to graze and preferably not too far from the coastline.

Scheveningen Dune area in 1283

Water Tower

In 1873 a water tower was built at the northern tip of the Harstenhoek for water extraction in the adjacent dune area.

The painting by Johannes Bosboom (1870) gives a nice picture of the water tower under construction.

Image 1873. The Hague Municipal Archives

Due to the increasingly effective water extraction and the greater water consumption, the groundwater level dropped, Harstenhoek dried up and agriculture became unprofitable.

Begin 20e century, the South Holland Electric Railway Company wanted to build a railway line between Rotterdam and Scheveningen. This railway line would run right through Harstenhoek and split the site into two equal halves. The southern part was immediately reserved by The Hague for urban expansion. The remaining part, the current Harstenhoek, would then be used as sports fields, but because of the water extraction this turned out to be unwise.

‘Harst laghe’

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