As late as the 12th and 13th centuries each of these islands consisted of several smaller islands, many of whose names are still preserved in the fertile polders which have taken their place.
The area south of this would be divided into four polders, with reservation, however, of a lake, Yselmeer, in the centre, whence branches would run to Ysel and the Zwolsche Diep, to Amsterdam, and, by sluices near Wieringen, to the northern part of the sea.
The four polders with their areas of fertile soil would be: (I) North-west polder, area 53,599 acres; fertile soil, 46,189 acres.
The gain would be the addition to the kingdom of a new and fertile province of the area of North Brabant, a saving of expenses on dikes, diminution of inundations, improvement of communication between the south and the north of the kingdom, protection of isles of the sea, &c. The costs were calculated as follows: (I) enclosing dike, sluices, and regulation of Zwolsche Diep, £1,760,000; (2) reclamation of four polders, £5,200,000; (3) defensive works, £400,000; (4) indemnity to fishermen, £180,000; total, £7,540,000.
Polders shown in the table.
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