Lower floor back

The rooms on the top floors and in the attics numbered in the same order as in the nventory of notary Joris Geesteranus.

6 Gallery (galerij)

7 Front kitchen (voorste keuken)

8 Back kitchen (achterkeuken)

9 Cupboard (pottebank)

10 Small courtyard (kleine plaestje)

11 Front courtyard (voorste plaats)

12 Back house (achterhuis)

The back part of the lower floor had a courtyard (#11) separating the main house from the kitchen (#7) and backhouse and toilet (#12). Running along the southern wall was a gallery (#6), a covered hallway. For the first fifty years that Leeuwenhoek lived in the Gulden Hoofd, the back wall of the kitchen and back house was the end of his property.

In 1708, Leeuwenhoek and Carl Serval bought and divided the house on the Nieuwstraat that shared a wall with the kitchen of the Gulden Hoofd. Leeuwenhoek took the back portion, which was already a kitchen (#8) and had a small courtyard (#10). He made a doorway between the two kitchens (#7 and #8).

The wall the kitchen shared with Carl Serval's portion was closed off. The door that had been there was replaced by either the stairwell to the upper floor or what the inventory called a cupboard for pottery (pottebank). The staircase that must have gone from the old kitchen to the attic and servants' quarters above was not present in 1745, so it must have been dismantled and perhaps used for the new staircase (#8). It would have given access to both upstairs rooms (see Top floor), so Leeuwenhoek must have put a doorway on the upper floor between his new back room and his old back attic.

6 Gallery (gelderije)

Also, spelled galdery; modern spelling is galerij.

We don't know who was responsible for the decisions that affected the architecture of the Gulden Hoofd. When it came to the back half of this property, they had several options.

They could have built the kitchen at the end of the main house and left the rest open for the courtyard. That would have meant that the main living and dining room of the main house, between the shop in front of it and the kitchen behind it, would have had no windows.

The privy was a separate decision. It could have adjoined the kitchen or it could have been a separate structure.

After they decided to put the kitchen at the far back, that left the courtyard between them. Both the living/dining room and the kitchen could have windows looking out on it. However, that meant carrying food back and forth across the courtyard in all weathers. The solution was to attach an overhang the courtyard's southern wall to protect against the rain and wind. That covered corridor was the gallery.

We don't know the extent to which it was closed in with a wall, but the contents listed in the inventory suggest that it was at least party closed. Did the wall have a door in it, opening to the courtyard? Windows? Was it even more open, like a portico? We can see from paintings what other houses had, but we don't know anything more about the Gulden Hoofd's.

The tables and chairs suggest that the table's leaf could have been dropped when it was in the gallery during the winter but raised when it was taken outdoors during the summer. It is not clear why a stove (stoof) would be on the gallery. It could have been a foot warmer. If it were a kiln used by Leeuwenhoek, the Dutch word is oven. However, the notary did not necessarily make that distinction. On the other hand, if it were Leeuwenhoek's, why did his daughter keep it there for twenty years after his death unless it had another use?

Making Maria's inventory, the notaries listed household goods in the gallery on page 31 (right; click to enlarge).

1 drop-leaf table (hangoortafel)

1 small serving table (schenktafeltje) with 1 tray (blaadje) on it

3 chairs

1 stove (stoof)

7 Front kitchen (voorste keuken)

7. voorste keuken Van Leeuwenhoek can have replaced himself a kitchen, built against the house by the gelderije and voorste keuken after he paid off his house. In the corner to the courtyard there would have been a working-slab, possile together with a pump.. A door to the 'achterhuis, (to the privy) could have been between slab and fireplace, however without the new kitchen it was there very small.

Making Maria's inventory, the notaries listed household goods and paintings on page XX (right; click to enlarge).

A kaarselade

A slijpplank

A laddertje

A schenkbakje

A linen chest

A verkalt square chest kast = chest

1 skilletje

3 baskets

1 white wood

1 weerhuijsje

2 bassels

2 bennetjes

1 painted chest: 1 raagshoofd

3 shairs, each Delft aardwerk, 4 large verklakte teebladen, 3 smaller ditto, 3 gardefeus


8 Back kitchen (achterkeuken)

8  achterkeuken    Backspace of the house at the Nieuwe straat. Next to the gelderije there was space for a window, so the hearth was at the backend. That corner of the yard can have been the location of the water-butt.

In 1708 van Leeuwenhoek bought a part of a house standing at the Nieuwestraat next to the building on the cellar, known as an inn named 'De Druif' ('The Grape'). That adittion had the same groundlevel as his own plot. In this new created situation the spaces AGTERKEUKEN, and 'K'LEIJNE PLAETSJE' were added, to the 'VOORSTE KEUKEN'

Making Maria's inventory, the notaries listed household goods and paintings on pages 32 (right; click to enlarge).

3 chairs, 4 foot warmers ? (stoven)

A fire basket (vuurmande)

2 clothes racks (kleerrakken)

2 clothing boxes (kleerbakjes)

6 clothing sticks ? (kleerstokjes)

1 pin (speldwerks) cushion with 10 bobbins (klossen)

3 chair cushions

A polished chest, therein some linen brought here

9 Pottery shelf or cupboard (pottenbank)

A rack for pots. Mentioned apart is suggesting it was a space. It can have been under the stairs, and pottenbank and stairs shut off by a wooden wall.

A storage of pots en kettles, probably standig on the 'KLEIJNE PLAETSJE'.

Deze berging van potten en ketels bevond zich nabij de keuken op het nieuwe 'KLEIJNE PLAETSJE'.

Making Maria's inventory, the notaries listed household goods and paintings on page XX (right; click to enlarge).

Some Delft earthenware

2 oil kannetjes: 1 teapot

some pots, pans, and rommelingh


10 Small courtyard (kleijne plaatsje)

This must have been an open space Iin the corner of the 'AGTERHUIS' and the AGTERKEUKEN at the backside of the plot.

achter het ÁGTERHUIS' was een open hoekje, waar behalve de pottenbank ook dingen als bezems e.d. stonden.

Making Maria's inventory, the notaries listed household goods and paintings on pages 32 (right; click to enlarge).

1 long pig lang varken

1 stofvarken

2 houtebakken

1 benne, 2 hujwagens luy?

A white quast

Some rommelingh


11 Front courtyard (voorste plaats)

Space with the waterbutt and the well. Against the wall of the neighbouring house (outbuilt kitchen) grew vines. Gardening was not a strange thing to him. Caring for his vines, van Leeuwenhoek did attend this yard.

This is the courtyard behind the 'AGTERKAMER'. There was a well, mentioned in a letters about the research of water. Another item at the 'PLAETSJE' must have been the cesspit. The water of the canal at the Hypolitusbuurt was rather clean, because in the richer  area the privys were connected to a cesspit, which however had to been  emptied from time to time. If there was no alley it went through the house to a boat in the canal.

De achterkamer keek uit op de plaats. Er was een put, waar van Leeuwenhoek over schrijft, en waarvan hij het water onderzocht. Ook moet er een beerput geweest zijn, die van tijd tot tijd geleegd moest worden.

According to the footnote in Alle de Brieven / Collected Letters (vol. 1, p. 276), the well would have been up to 16 meters deep in sand.

Letter 10 of 1675-02-11 (AB 16) to Henry Oldenburg

The Spanish soap aforesaid was put into our pump-water (coming from under the sand of our wells. This water is always somewhat brackish or salty.

Letter of 1676-01-22 (AB 20) to Henry Oldenburg

I detected living creatures in water, that is ordinary rainwater that is collected from the roofs in stone basins or barrels, as well as in well-water that comes up in the sand, and in the water of the canals that run through this town and through the country.

Making Maria's inventory, the notaries listed household goods in the front courtyard on page 31v (right; click to enlarge).

2 ladders

1 long stick (langestok)

some pots, pans, and junk

12 Back house (achterhuis)

Shed and space for a privy. The privy was situated close by a cesspit in the courtyard

Elisabeth de Bievre, Dutch Art and Urban Cultures 1200-1700; Yale University Press

The point of public cleanliness is particularly worth stressing, as it is a reminder that many of the characteristics now generalized as 'national' and Dutch were in fact originally identified as distinctly 'local' and associated with one city, in this case that of Delft. Thus the much quoted adage about the Dutch scrubbing their streets derives from statements about Delft, where 'the streets were constructed in such a way, that they were washed the rain' so that they were 'usually as clean as in other countries the interiors in the houses'. In 1615. (van Bleyswijck 1667; quote van Braun en Hagenberg).

Jean Le Petit, Nederlandsche Republijck, 1615 (my translation):

Nobody was allowed to throw refuse out of their house into the streets, but that it had to be taken to expressly made containers near the canals, which when full were emptied into specially equipped boats or barges.

Soutendam 1870, Keuren

Such cleanliness was fostered by the city's byelaws. Every house had to have a privy on the property, so that the waste would not enter the Delft, the streets or the ring canal. The streets had to be swept in the direction of a special gutter.

Making Maria's inventory, the notaries listed household goods and paintings on pages 32 (right; click to enlarge).  The notaries found only three things there during their inventory:

A screen or partition (schutje)

A pair of bellows (blaasbalk)

A _____ stick box (swavelstokbak)