The old church was built with local bricks
At the base of the walls of the Zuidlaren church there are some large bricks. They are called ‘monastery bricks’ (kloostermoppen). They are larger and more irregular in shape than later bricks. These monastery bricks were made eight hundred years ago in kilns on the banks of the Hunze. The kilns were fired with peat dug out of the nearby bog Zuidlaarderveen.
When their wooden church burned down in 1232, the people of Zuidlaren decided to rebuild their new church in brick. The bricks for the Zuidlaren church were made by monks from the great abbey of Aduard in the province of Groningen. At that time this monastery was the largest economic undertaking in the region.
The monks from the Aduard abbey were the first people to begin digging peat on a large scale on the opposite bank of the Hunze near Zuidlaren. In 1262 the people of Zuidlaren sold this peat bog to the abbey. The village of Zuidlaarderveen sprang up there. Later, enterprising citizens and organisations from Groningen began to buy peat moors further up the Hunze from farmers in other Hondsrug villages.
The information panel is located behind the old church. This leafy area is a tranquil spot in the busy town of Zuidlaren.
Coordinates: 53°05’46.7″N 6°41’17.9″E