The old Aberson cascade handform press may be over 100 years old but still cannot be written off completely. For visitors of all ages can bake their own personal bricks here and take them back home as mementos. The De Panoven brickworks in the far east of the Netherlands were closed down in 1983. In the ensuing years the old family business has been transformed into a wonderfully maintained industrial museum. You can see everything here: the machines which are all still in working order, the sheds where the bricks were dried, the tools, the various practical items and of course the Zigzag kiln dating back to 1924, the last of its type in Western Europe. In the museum you can find out more about how bricks were made locally and learn about the long history of the craft from the Romans to the present day. The nearby clay pits are a treasure house of natural life. Here a unique biotope has grown up on the site where the clay for the bricks was formerly extracted. If you want you can take a look around in a horse and carriage, on foot, or even in the company of an experienced gamekeeper.
When people think of Zevenaar they think of bricks. The two have always gone together thanks to the region’s natural supplies of clay. As early as 1487, when the town received its charter, there was a brick kiln here. From that time on brick making became the trademark of the area. Most of the roofs on the houses of the nearby town of Nijmegen had been covered with tiles from Zevenaar since 1583. The growth in demand led to the brickmakers to spread their trade beyond the borders of the town. More and more brickmaking sites grew up in the area, especially in the 19th century, and production became increasingly industrialised. De Panoven, which was set up in 1860, is part of this tradition and even continues the tradition to the present day. As was usual at the time it all started with a shaft kiln. Further kilns followed and the site was modernised. In 1901 De Panoven began supplying the first machine-made roof tiles and bricks. Almost 20 years later the first dry sheds were built. The last major investments was the zigzag kiln erected in 1926. It basically operated according to the principle of a ring kiln, whose prime technical improvement at the time of its invention was that it could be continually fired, thereby also saving on fuel. The particular attraction of the zigzag kiln is that it is the sole remaining intact model of its kind in Western Europe. This is mostly due to the fact that De Panoven has been in the hands of the same family since 1930. It controlled the business until it was closed in 1982. After this, thanks to the untiring efforts of the family and other persons, it was converted into an industrial museum, holiday resort, conference and information centre. The museum comprises the brickmaking works which supplied the raw material for production. Since then an utterly unique biotope of flora and fauna and animal life has grown up in the old clay pits. Now this is an integral part of the nature reserve known as De Gelderse Poort. The museum deals with this development in detail in its exhibition and offers guided tours round the biotope as an additional service.
|Recommended duration of visit:||2 Hours|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||Available|
|Infrastructure for Children:|
|Visitor centre on site:||yes|
|Gift and book shop on Site:||yes|
Wednesday to Sunday 10am-5pm
closed 1st January