Zeeland - Sealand, as the name already indicates, is land taken from the sea, but it had not been merely the diking of salt marshes that created this area. 3000 years B.C. the west part of Schouwen was a low coast with sand barriers and old dunes. This part of the island has been continuously inhabited since the new Stone Age. Archaeologists have found remains of an ancient settlement dating back to 2460 B.C. There have been many other archaeological findings in different parts on this coast, which reveals that this region has been inhabited for thousand of years.
It is not surprising that these people lived on the edge of the dunes, where they could live on higher grounds and thus be protected against storm surges, which have tormented these parts for centuries. These people had access to fresh water from the dunes and from flat wetlands they made farmland.
Renesse, is first officially mentioned in a document from the year of 1244 Count Willem II from Holland and Zeeland gave his permission to the monks of Ten Duinen to trade, free from tolls and other charges. This act was drawn up in the home of Costijn van Renesse. This knight lived in the first version of the current castle of Moermond.
The circular village, which was formed around the Jacobus church, was originally amed Riethnesse, derived from reed and peninsula (nes or nose). The nickname for the residents of Renesse is ‘Zandloapers’ (sand walkers). A second older nickname was ‘Geitebokken’ (male goats). Everyone in those days had goats, which is the poor man’s cow. And back then poverty was really bitter in the Westhoek (West part), as the soil was very lean and sand drifts regularly threatened fields and pastures.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the first bathers came to Renesse; the most famous among them were Albert Plesman and Anton Pieck. Few progressive nobles et up the association of Renesse Forward in 1911. This association had the objective to point out the touristic qualities of Renesse to strangers. The extension of the railway steam tram from Zijpe – Brouwershaven up to Burgh, made Renesse significant more accessible in 1915 In the early twenties the first campsite Camping Bona Fide was opened on the Hogezoom, where also the first holiday homes were built.