Ahrens Cottage-maker and Wainwright’s House from Westerstede

Ahrens Cottage-maker and Wainwright’s House from Westerstede (Ammerland County), workshop built in 1885, main house in 1907 (using a structure from 1566). Re-constructed at the open-air museum between 2009 and 2011.

From carriage house to wainwright’s workshop

The carriage house for the wainwright shop in Westerstede appealed to him. Cottage-maker Johann Heinrich Ahrens was in the process of becoming self-employed and found a room that was large enough for the wainwright trade, for the manufacture of carriages, wagon wheels, axles and complete coaches. In 1890, he opened his business and one year later, he went to the marriage altar with the owner of the wainwright shop, the twenty-one year old Margarethe Elisabeth Bunge. Forthwith, the carriage house, which had been built in 1885 with open sidewalls and two passages, was re-built into the enclosed workshop, which is now being exhibited at the open-air museum.

Thrifty and modern

Obviously, the decades surrounding 1900 were a good time for wainwright. The Ahrens couple was also able to modernize the living buildings and the cottage maker’s workshop at the basic level in 1907 for that reason. The bricks were laid for a solid new pediment and even the living area was completely re-designed. Load-bearing structures were treated economically and the old structure was left at its location. It is only because of this that the building research department of the open-air museum was able to prove successfully that, at its core, the building could be traced back to 1566. This made it the oldest secular building in the city, which was largely destroyed by the Great Fire of 1815.

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