Oil mill ‘De Bonte Hen’

Oil mill De Bonte Hen

Despite being struck repeatedly by lightning, ‘De Kip’ still stands in its original spot

Oil mill ‘De Bonte Hen’ (The Speckled Hen), also known as ‘De Kip’ (The Chicken) is the northernmost mill in the Zaanse Schans and dates back to 1693. The mill was built on the site of a previously existing sawmill with the same name, and was one of the first in the region. This octagonal ‘top turner’ with balcony has an eye-catching slender shape, and was used for a long time to press oil from seeds and nuts. Despite repeated lightning strikes and fires, the mill was always rescued, the fires extinguished and the damage repaired. After operating right up until 1926, the mill was dismantled in the 1930s down to the level of the balcony.

Oil mill De Bonte Hen

Following years of neglect, a crowdfunding campaign helped to enable the full restoration of the mill between 1973 and 1978. It was re-equipped with a pair of edge runner stones, a pre-stroke and post-stroke, firing pans and pounders. This made it possible for the mill to work again, and it is often used to this day. The restoration also made use of parts obtained from the mill ‘De Koperslager’ after it burned down. The original oil cellars, which were used to store the oil made at the mill, are still in place beneath the building. The adjacent press cake barn, dating back to 1883, was also restored and converted into a home in 1975.

A variety of oil products are sold at De Bonte Hen, including linseed oil.

Oil mill De Bonte Hen

A steam tug equipped with an icebreaker passes the mill ‘De Bonte Hen’ in 1929

National monument 1693
(original location)

  • Mill

  • Kalverringdijk 39, 1509 BT Zaandam

  • Entry: PAID
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  • Open March to October:
    Tue – Fri – Sat – Sun: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    November to February: by appointment only

  • +31 (0)75 621 7452