The first settlement of Groot Wetsinge dates from the 3rd century BC. Several artifacts were discovered in the wierde, including an earthenware lamp from the 1st century. Groot Wetsinge is a rather confusing name, since there are fewer houses there than in Klein Wetsinge. Groot means ‘high’ in this context, because Wetsinge is built on a wierde; a wierde is a mound, or artificial hill that was created to provide safe ground before there were dikes to protect the land from flooding. The wierde in Wetsinge is part of a cluster of wierden situated on the eastern banks of the Hunze river. Another good example of a wierde is the Schellingheheert, just up the road near Winsum.