Huize Brakestein was originally called ‘Het Huis aan den Put’, the House by the Well, but around 1745, it was renamed after the Braak family, who lived here for a long time. At the end of the 18th century, the then owner Leendert den Berger had a French style garden created at Huize Brakestein. In this garden, there were sculptures of Ceres and Neptune, among other things, which are currently displayed in the garden of De Vermaning in Den Hoorn.
These sculptures were put there at a time when a maritime museum was housed in this former Mennonite church. At Huize Brakestein, there used to be a painted wooden wall with woodcarving. After restoration, this wall was placed in a conspicuous spot in Hotel De Lindeboom in Den Burg.
Situated opposite Brakestein are the Wezenputten wells. They were owned by the orphanage in Den Burg, which sold the water from the wells to the ships going out to sea from the Reede van Texel. In 1676, the governors of the orphanage received a charter which stipulated that Texel people who drew water from the wells also had to pay for it: twelve stivers a year. The coffer in which the water revenues were kept is exhibited at Kaap Skil Museum. Texel water was in great demand.
Because of its high iron content (noticeable by the brown colour), the water from the Wezenputten kept better than water from elsewhere. Usually, the water supply taken would last until Cape of Good Hope, where fresh water supplies could be taken in at Table Bay. The barrels of water from the Wezenputten were transported to the dike on small boats via the Skilsloot. In 1795, the Skilsloot was extended to the harbour so that the barrels no longer had to be hoisted over the dike.
Besides water, ships would stock up on sheep on Texel as provisions for the journey. The area at the end of the Skilsloot, where the water barrels would be hoisted over the dike, was often a hive of activity. Unsurprisingly, inns sprang up here and the area became known as Jeneverbuurtje, the Gin Quarter. Another name for this quarter was Kollegat (gat = passage, kol = prostitute). After months out at sea, many sailors would squander their hard-earned cash here in just a few days. The official name of this street is now 't Buurtje.
The wadden dike on Texel offers a beautiful view of various special nature reserves. Nurseries for various bird species. Read more about it here.
Museum Kaap Skil is a museum of beachcombers and sailors, exhibiting items washed ashore, items from sunken ships, model ships and paintings of ships.