The aim of this web site is to draw a picture of Pede's Mill, the restauration of which has been possible thanks to the dedication and determination of its current owners. Ruin and oblivion of the mill has thus been avoided and its preservation assured for future generations.
Mills are privileged witnesses of an old lifestyle. These old mills have an extraordinary power to evoke the past. This is why all efforts that contribute to their preservation and to the divulgation of their rich history are particularly important.
The water mill known as « Pede's Mill » (Pede's Molen) is located in Hundelgem (Belgium), on the border with Velzeke. The mill gets it's name from Benjamin Pede, who was the owner in 1938. We will come back to the original denomination of this water mill in further chapters.
The brook that feeds the mill is the « Passemarebeek » (see note). The building is situated in very rural surroundings. The year 1775 is anchored in the wall above the water wheel. This is undoubtedly a renovation date, as the mill shows obvious signs of transformation. The core of the water mill is older.
The brook « Passemarebeek » originates to the east of the village Opstal (see Illustration # 1-1 below). The course of the brook first points to the southeast, but changes rapidly to the southwest towards Pede's Mill and onwards to the river Zwalm. The spring of the Passemarebeek can be found at a linear distance of 2,215 metres (= 1.37 miles) from the water mill.
This brook is also fed by three smaller watercourses. The « Lindebeek » originates to the west of the village Steenbeke and, after a short distance, flows into the Passemarebeek. Its spring is located at a distance of 2,730 metres (= 1.69 miles).
The « Zwedebeek » originates to the west of the village Opstal, very close to the spring of the Passemarebeek, but points from then on mainly south and southwest towards the water mill. The distance between this spring and the mill is 1,940 metres (= 1.20 miles). The Zwedebeek meets the Passemarebeek just north of Pede's Mill.
The fourth and smallest watercourse is locally known as « Heksenmeersgracht » (literally Witches Swamp Ditch). This brook with a very reduced flow originates in the « Waterkersgrachten », a place with abundant water where watercress (Nasturtium officinale) was grown until recently. This spot is located a little bit below the fields on a nearby hill. The fourth brook originates to the west of the mill at a distance of 495 metres (= 0.30 miles) and flows into the Zwedebeek.
These four watercourses have a relatively reduced flow. During our historical research, no other mills have been found on the Passemarebeek or its tributaries.
The next chapter at a glance:
Where we use old maps and other archival springs in our search of the first mention of the existence of water mill and can confirm its construction date.