The toll at Iersekeroord 1321-1572

Compiled by W.S. Unger

The toll-gate at Iersekeroord -which stood at the point where the now submerged Land of Reimerswaal is opposite Bergen op Zoom- was originally one of the guarded toll-gates of Geervliet, the oldest toll-gate in the province of Holland. The merchants and seafarers who paid the toll at Iersekeroord were those who sailed through the inland waters of Zeeland either from or towards Flanders (Brugge, Gent) or Brabant (Bergen op Zoom, Antwerp) and who did not pass Geervliet. During the course of the 15th century, Iersekeroord grew into an independent toll-gate in its own right and went on to acquire its own toll-gates in the ports and harbours of the various islands of Zeeland. For as long as the Oosterschelde remained the most important waterway the toll-gate was based there. Finally, in 1532, the head office was transferred to Antwerp when the Honte, which eventually became the Westerschelde, became easier to navigate and started to take over trade around Antwerp, Brussels and Gent.