old church of Scherpenisse is an unfinished and mutilated
masterpiece. Originally this was a big cruciform in Brabantine Gothic
style. In the 15th and 16th centuries it replaced an older church, which is
first mentioned in 1203. A
choir had been built ca. 1462., probably as part of the old church The new nave
and transept were built in the first half of the 16th century. A tall steeple
graced the crossing. The construction of the tower is believed to have started
in c. 1520. By 1570 it was still not finished, but due to the Eighty Years War
work on it had stopped. A late-17th century plate show the church at its most
complete, with unfinished tower but with choir and transept. Strangely, the
northern side-aisle is missing in the picture.
A bit unusual for The Netherlands, even for a
late-Gothic church, is the dominant use of tudor arches.
In 1577 the church was confiscated by the
protestants. Early 17th century the tower was slightly heightened in brick, but
eventually it was settled for a wooden upper part. In this period, the church
fell into decay. The choir and transept were abandoned and demolished in the
18th century. Of the transept only two pieces of wall remain. It is unknown when
the heavy buttresses were added to the tower.
The building at the back of the church was added during a restoration between
1971 and 1974. During this restoration the entrance in the tower was opened as
well, while the rooftiles on the side-aisles were replaced by slates. The window
in the east wall was closed, while the one in the tower was opened.