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Life on country estates

Dhr. R. (1929): ''Maar nimt 'm toch maar mit en geef 'm de pastoor maar.''
Werkgroep Oral History Gelderland
Time period: 1920–1950
Number of interviews: 47

Map Tour oral history Leven op landgoederen


In 2012, trained volunteers from the Werkgroep Oral History Gelderland conducted extensive interviews with residents of estates and country houses in Gelderland. With the consent of the interviewees, the conversations were taped and typed out verbatim, after which an easy-to-read story was written. The project was initiated by the Stichting Landschapsbeheer (SLG) with the intention of recording the lives of country estate residents while they still had the opportunity. The volunteers were guided by SLG and Erfgoed Gelderland.


Forty-seven interviews were conducted with owners, tenants, foresters and domestic staff of 30 country estates. The stories form a cross-section of functions at a country estate or country house and cover the period 1920-1950. They are personal stories about their own memories and about what the interviewees still remember from their parents and grandparents. The focus is on the experience of living and working on the country estate. Together with the photographs that were taken, the stories provide a good picture of how life on country estates used to be.


Many of the memories belong to the past. The situation on private country estates in Gelderland has changed dramatically in recent decades. New initiatives have often been necessary for their preservation. And the residents reported on this as well.


This archive is entirely public. This collection contains 47 interviews about life on country estates in the period 1930-1970. Each interview consists of an audio file, a transcription, a story and photographs. For reasons of privacy, the interviews can only be listened to in the reading room of the Gelders Archive. The transcripts of the interviews can also only be viewed in the reading room.


Auteurs : Andre Kaper, Elyze Storms
ISBN : 9789075271614

Uitgever : Blauwdruk
Verschijningsdatum : november 2012

Owners, chambermaids, tenants and foresters. They speak frankly about their lives on a Gelderland estate or a Gelderland country house. Their memories sketch a rich picture of how it used to be here. But also of what it is like now. This book contains stories about Vollenhof, Molecaten, Het Holthuis, Welna, De Dennenhorst, Biljoen, Sint Hubertus, Middachten, Nederhemert, Het Grote Meer, Het Kleine Meer, Keppel, ‘t Zelle, ‘t Medler, Het Enzerinck, De Heest and Ampsen.


The stories have been collected from the idea that living history will be lost if it is not recorded. Volunteers from the Werkgroep Oral History Gelderland conducted extensive interviews. Of the forty-four conversations, twenty were selected for this book. Each story is accompanied by a short description of the landscape and architectural features of the country house or estate. This combination makes it all the more clear how important oral history is for the preservation of the present and future landscape of Gelderland. The Oral History Gelderland working group is an initiative of the Gelderland Foundation for Landscape Conservation.