Deurne, Netherlands


Deurne (Brabants: Deurze) is the largest town in the Dutch municipality of Deurne, province of North Brabant. Deurne is located between Helmond and Venray. Other centers in the municipality of the same name are Liessel, Vlierden, Neerkant and Helenaveen. The municipality of Deurne in its current form has existed since 1926, when the former municipalities of Deurne and Liessel and Vlierden were merged. More recent border corrections took place in 1968 and 1997.


Landscape and history

Deurne is largely located in the cover sand landscape of the Central Rift. Only the eastern part is on the Peelhorst. There, impermeable layers in the soil allowed extensive bogs to form, the current Peel. Inhabitation in the Deurnese covering sand area was already to be found in prehistoric times. We see more fixed habitation from the Neolithic, when agriculture began in the Low Countries. Due to depletion of the soil, the settlements had to be relocated every time.

The place name Deurne in the oldest mention Durninum (721) is a dative meaning a place overgrown with thorns. This description probably indicates a characteristic vegetation in the late prehistoric or early Middle Ages. In that period too, farms must have been located in the vicinity of the later core of Deurne, possibly under the current Koolhof, and in any case on the Bottel.

Only around 1200 do we see a gradual fixation of the settlements in one place. Farms were given a permanent place and were no longer demolished every generation and rebuilt elsewhere. Some of these settlements were then in the hands of the Abbey of Echternach, which also owned the Sint-Willibrorduskerk. The village of Deurne grew around this church in the late Middle Ages. The village of Liessel was created in the same period around a Sint-Hubertus chapel, Vlierden around a chapel on the Kapelweg.

In the late Middle Ages, a settlement pattern with a large number of hamlets was established. They lay on the various smaller cover sand ridges along the brook valleys of the Aa, along small cover sand heads in the field and around the large cover sand island of the Deurnese field. Administratively, Deurne was part of the Kwartier van Peelland under the ducal Meierij van 's-Hertogenbosch.

Neerkant and Helenaveen only emerged as villages in the 19th century. Housing construction in Deurne gained momentum after the Second World War. The first project was carried out on Lindenlaan; the first modern terraced houses were built here. After that, the projects on Hellemanstraat, in the Pastoorsbuurt and the plan d'Ekker were carried out, all on the edge of the old village center.


Museum De Wieger

Deurne enjoys national fame because of the De Wieger museum, once the home of the painting doctor Hendrik Wiegersma. Wiegersma was a legend. He was a general practitioner in Deurne in de Peel and had five sons. One of those sons was Friso, a partner of Wim Sonneveld. He wrote the song "The Village" for him, after a song by Jean Ferrat (La Montagne) with memories of his lost childhood ("the garden path of my father"). Hendrik Wiegersma himself previously supplied the material for the renowned novel 'Dorp aan de rivier' by Antoon Coolen (1934), a mixture of his own life and that of his father Jacob, who in the book served as a model for the village doctor Tjerk van Taeke . He himself played a leading role in a number of regional novels by Toon Kortooms (b. Deurne), including "Help, the doctor drowns" from 1968, which was later also made into a film.

In 1918 Wiegersma bought a cheap piece of land on the edge of Deurne, the former Galgenveld. He then had Cor Roffelsen, an architect from Helmond, build a house in neo-Renaissance style, the current "De Wieger" (1922), named after the nickname given to the doctor in the village. After his death, if none of his children wanted to live there, the house would have to be demolished to the last stone.

Saint Willibrord Gymnasium
Deurne also had national fame because of the minor seminary annex regional gymnasium on the Vlierdenseweg just outside Deurne. Until the early 1960s, lessons were mainly taught there by the Fathers S.V.D. (Societas Verbi Divini), an order of mission. Most of the students lived there internally and were trained as priests / missionaries. The number of externals was initially in the minority, but would increase over the years, while the number of lay teachers also grew. The first girls entered school in 1966. In the 1990s, the last students left the building, after it had been previously designated as a mission house. In 1996 a working group was started to consider the future of the building. This eventually led to the opening of the Conference Hotel Willibrordhaeghe in 2004, on the condition that the then residents (fathers and brothers) could continue to live on the site for as long as they wanted. Now Fletcher Hotel restaurant Willibrordhaeghe, since its takeover in 2016.


Local history

Deurne has its own local history circle, named after the historian and local historian Hendrik Ouwerling. One of the aims of this association is to create a collection of things related to the history of Deurne, Liessel, Helenaveen, Neerkant and Vlierden. The local history circle has copies of birth, marriage and death certificates, prayer cards of people who were born, married, died or lived in Deurne and photos of Deurne and everything related to it, such as people, associations and companies.


Traffic and transport

Deurne has had a railway station since 1864, namely Station Deurne. Intercity trains run here between Schiphol and Venlo, and a Sprinter between Den Bosch and Deurne, making the station a terminal and transfer station. Public transport by bus is available via lines 28, 262 and 266 from Hermes and line 80 from Arriva.

Deurne is accessible via the exit of the A67 at Liessel or Ommel / Asten and the village of Deurne is connected to the A73 at Venray via the Langstraat N270. On the other hand, the N270 connects Deurne with Helmond and Eindhoven.

Deurne has a center ring, consisting of Europastraat, Dunantweg, Houtenhoekweg, Heuvelstraat, Lage Kerk and Hogeweg. Other bypasses are the Helmondsingel / Langstraat (1970s), Binderendreef (circa 2000) and Vlierdensedreef (circa 2005). Since May 2016, the southern diversion (the Garlic Path) has connected the Vlierdensedreef and Liesselseweg.



Saint Willibrord's Church
Small Castle
Great Castle
Museum de Wieger
Holten's Mill