De Snelle Loop

For many centuries, the Snelle Loop has been a much disputed border between the two communities of Gemert and Aarle-Rixtel.
The land on the other side is always greener.
The border division was a hot issue especially in the 16th century. Gemert claimed that the embankment near the f…

For many centuries, the Snelle Loop has been a much disputed border between the two communities of Gemert and Aarle-Rixtel.
The land on the other side is always greener.
The border division was a hot issue especially in the 16th century. Gemert claimed that the embankment near the fast course was not well maintained by Aarle-Rixtel and Beek and that, as a result, their cows strayed and had to pay a fifteen-fold entrance fee. Aarle, on the other hand, claimed that the rampart and the loop were never meant to hold back cattle but were dug for defence during the Gelderlander wars. They also claimed that the loop was not a border fence, that Gemert's cows had been driven there to gorge themselves on the good grass in Aarle, Rixtel and Beek, for which they had never received compensation while the cattle invasion had meanwhile reached almost biblical proportions. They dug into churches to retrieve documents, complained to the Duke of Brabant, Teutonic Order and aldermen, and stole and argued back and forth. Gemert also claimed that because of its neutral status (it was not part of the Low Countries but a free seigniory owned by the Teutonic Order) it received many refugees on its territory during wars and border disputes for which it had never received compensation. The judge finally ruled that Aarle-Rixtel and Beek had to maintain the embankment and that the dues could not be higher than half a penny. However, the authority of a court so far removed from the situation proved to be of little consequence. Indeed, such rulings were made several times. The exact boundaries were demarcated by unfortunately lost poles. The situation was really made worse by moving the rampart and thus closing off the connecting road between Aarle and Gemert. Eventually, a maintenance section of the rampart was allocated to each user of the shared land but until well into the 19th century, this part of the Peel remained a disputed area (the same applied, incidentally, to almost all of the Peel).

Contact

Address:
De Snelle Loop
Grotel 16 Gemert-Bakel
5761RA Bakel
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