The Netherlands would not exist without dredging, and Sliedrecht, a small town on the River Merwde, 14 km north-east of Dordrecht, is where most of the leading Dutch dredging companies were located. From the 16th century men from Sliedrecht used rushes and osiers from nearby woodlands to protect the fragile banks of drainage channels in distant parts of the Netherlands.
Sliedrechts Museum, which displays all aspects of the town’s history, was opened in the town hall in 1964. Such was the importance of dredging in the town’s past that a museum specifically concerned with the subject was opened ten years later.
The National Museum of Dredging has working models showing the technology used in many different kinds of dredging operation, and a large collection of historic pictures and photographs. It moved to new premises in 1976 and has expanded steadily ever since.