During the past century Oudewater has absorbed the municipalities of Hoenkoop, Snelrewaard and Willeskop. Since 1970 Oudewater is part of the Utrecht province, and to Zuid-Holland before that date.
Along its history Oudewater has swopped several times between the Utrecht region (previously: diocese) and Zuid Holland province (previously: County of Zuid Holland). In 1989 the villages of Hekendorp and Papekop have been added to Oudewater.
Hekendorp as an entity
Hekendorp has been an independent municipality till 1964. Thereafter, it merged with Driebruggen, and since 1989 it has been added to Oudewater.
In Hekendorp is a pillory with a sculpture of the Virgin of Justice without her usual blindfold on top.
The hamlet of Goejanverwelle, next to Hekendorp, is locally world famous as Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia was arrested here in 1787 and held hostage in a farm then owned by Adriaan Leeuwenhoek. She was on het way to The Hague when rebellious groups named ‘Patriots’ vs. ‘Orangists’ (adepts to the princes of Orange) fought for power.
Papekop as an entity
Papekop originated form a so-called ‘Cope’, a 12th century concession to open up new land of established size. For nearly a century there has been a railway station in Papekop, with a horse-drawn tram between Oudewater and the railway station.