One of odd ones out among all the other “Indisch” names is Ary van der Spuystraat, christened in 1950. Ary van der Spuy (1781-1868) was a schoolmaster, maths teacher, surveyor and forester. He surveyed the Haagse Bos as part of a 10-year plan to fell the whole area. The maps he made were put to good use in 1819 during the reign of Willem I, when he was given the chance to bring his ideas to fruition when the plans by another were rejected. So a forester along aside the Scheveningen Woods is not so odd after all.

Archipel&Willemspark Newspaper, February 2009

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‘New’ English Church  

After the loss of the original English Church on 3 March 1945 during the bombardment of the Bezuidenhout area of The Hague, a new church was built in 1952 as a replacement on the corner of the Ary van der Spuyweg and the Timorstraat. The memorial plaque in the wall of the Church commemorates the events of that fateful day when the original church was completely destroyed.

The English Church in the Netherlands
The Hague has traditionally been a city where many expats have chosen to reside and work. New churches first began to appear after the Reformation Period, mainly due to the various religions brought to The Hague during this period. The Presbyterian Church was one of these new churches, built at the end of the sixteenth century.
The Sacrament Chapel at the end of Noordeinde was used as a church by the British, as was later the Gasthuis Chapel on Groenmarkt. Between 1840 and 1844 there was no English Church in The Hague, but after this period church services were resumed at various locations.

Thanks to the involvement and financial support of John Abraham Tinne (brother to Alexandrine Tinne the explorer), plans were laid down for the building of the first English church.

The new church, situated on 3de v.d Boschstraat was inaugurated on 19 October 1873. The Palace of Justice now stands on this site where once Villa Ter Noot stood. The church was named St. John and St. Philip: the names of Tinne’s father and grandfather, and a new organ was installed in 1874.

The Bombardment
The devastating bombardment of a large part of Bezuidenhout on 3 March 1945 caused a horrendous amount of damage (including the English Church) and a great number of casualties. It took several years for the clear up to get started. However when gunpowder was used to clear up the debris in 1950, the rebuilding started in earnest.

Ary van der Spuyweg
The decision was made to locate the new church on the Ary van der Spuyweg and H.R.H. Princess Alicia Countess of Athlone laid the first stone on 21 June 1951. Less than a year later, on 20 April 1952, the church was ready to open its doors and the following year the Bishop of London came to perform the consecration ceremony. Since then the Church has undergone renovation work (2003) and celebrated its 50 anniversary (1971) in the presence of (the now) H.R.H. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Translation Irene Vonck

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