Dutch term – Muuranker

A muuranker [literally: wall anchor] is a wall tie, a piece of iron that is used to secure the outer wall to the timber frame of a building.

If you are visiting a town where your ancestors lived, either in person or on Google Streetview, and see wall ties, you know it’s an older house (say, before 1850). Some houses with wall anchors have timber frames that go back to the medieval period, when the frames would be filled with wattle and daub but have since been replaced with bricks.

Wall ties in the Roman Catholic church in Gulpen. Credits: L.M. Tangel, Cultural Heritage Service (CC-BY-SA)

Wall ties could be simple iron bars or more elaborate. In some cases, they formed the year in which the house was built or renovated. This could tell you that the house already existed when your ancestor lived there.

Farm in Ressen from 1744. Credits: A.J. van der Wal, Cultural Heritage Service (CC-BY-SA)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She holds the Certified Genealogist credential from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has a post-graduate diploma in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. She has been doing genealogy for over 30 years and helps people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. I’ve always wondered about them. Thanks for explaining this.

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