A proverbial stone’s throw from the Oosterschelde National Park and the De Pluimpot nature area, the village of Scherpenisse lodges in one of the oldest polders on the island of Tholen.
Back in the 13th century, an island here was named Scarpenisse. This is a Germanic term for a spit of land jutting into the sea. That is one possible origin of the name Scherpenisse, but it might just come from a person who owned it.
The Dutch Reformed ‘nieuw hervormd’ (NH) church, built in a Gothic style, dates from the 15th and 16th century. Only the tower and the nave are still intact – the rest was lost in the 18th century.
Standing firm on the Hoge Markt square, the former town hall houses the assertive Guildhall, where annual meetings of the Guild of Musketeers are still held. They used to provide armed protection to the town elders of Scherpenisse. The town hall was built in the 16th century on the command of Maria van Nassau, the oldest daughter of William the Silent. It was here that the post coach would call on its mail run from Walcheren north to Holland. Now it houses a restaurant.
The water tower is a real eye-catcher, just above 52 metres high. It was built in 1922, with a reservoir tank of 350,000 litres. In those days, one purpose of a water tower was to maintain steady pressure on the supply grid.
Out along the Westkerkseweg stands the De Korenbloem windmill. During construction in 1872, it tilted over. Seems to run in the family: elsewhere on Tholen, over in Poortvliet, the Korenaar mill (b. 1710) did the same. Help was at hand in Scherpenisse, though slow: in 2009, it got straightened up during a thorough restoration. Its opening hours are not known.
There is a compact weekly market, on Tuesdays, from 13:00 to 14:30. It’s an ambulant affair: mornings, they’re on Tholen, and later in the afternoon in Poortvliet. More on events in Scherpenisse in our Events Calendar.