The manor lies in flat salt marshes ab. ten meter above sea with a free view over Randers Fjord. It is not known if it was a robber's nest in the old days, from where was an fine access to the merchants' ships. The first residing here was probably by one of Denmark's most notorious men, the socalled "king's murderer" Rane Jonsen of the family Rani. He was the owner of much estate in the country when he was convicted an outlaw together with his companions in 1287. His estate came to the Crown - and the estate at Djursland was established as Ranes Gods (Rane's estate) which existed up into the 16th century.
After Rane Jonsen are mentioned several clerical and secular owners of Holbækgaard, but the names and ownerships are not clear. In 1340 it is said that Peder Munk "must have his farm in Holbæk given back" and in 1367 he is written of Holbækgaard. Still it is not sure if he was the owner. A long feud between the bishops in Aarhus and the family Munk did not end until Erik of Pommern had made judgment in 1408, where it should belong to the bishop in Aarhus. Peder Munk had possibly wrongly owned the farm or he was a vasal at Holbækgaard by bishop Svend who like himself was at odds with Grev Gert.
After the long feud which ended in 1408, the bishopric of Aarhus probably owned Holbækgaard manor and estate and Holbækgaard stayed in the ownership of the bishops until the reformation, where it was transferred to the Crown like other clerical estate. The last vasal Anders Jacobsen from a not wellknown noble family Hvittenstjern kept the vasalry but died shortly after and was followed by his widow, who in 1540 was succeeded by Hans Stygge who in 1544 bought it from the king.
There are almost no traces from the old Holbækgaard. The low rampart is disturbed and only the western part is kept, but it is obvious that it was circular with a 4o meter diameter and rather modest. The new owner built the stonehouse, mentioned in 1568, it was probably a freestanding building with a flat cellar and two storeys, only 17 meter long and tower-like. It had the mark of the late Gothic period and it might easily have been built shortly after Hans Stygge became the owner, but possibly a litte later since the year 1560 is said to be carved upon the building. Hans Stygge also built a timbered house and here was kitchen, bakery, castle room etc. while the stoneh
|coffin plate for Hans Stygge,|
According to the taste and conditions of that time Holbækgård was a genteel residence. Hans Stygge died in 1568. He was noted by firmness and honesty. After him came his son Mourids Stygge,who for a long time was High court judge in North Jutland. He increazsed the property exchanges with the king. He left some diary books where he mentions that he "kept house at Huolbeckgaard". In 1580 he was married to Anne Iversdatter Lykke in the hall. The family Stygge died out already in the middle of the 17th century. Fru Anne Lykke resided after her husband's death at Holbækgaard for some years. Three sons had died before their father and the fourth the son Peder was killed in 1613 in Sweden in the fight at Skellinge Hede. Shortly after this fru Anne Lykke sold Holbækgaard to hr. Albret Christensen Skeel of Fussingø. He died ab. 1623 in Randers, ca. 70 years of age .
Albret Skeel was a coleric man, but a very able rigsråd and admiral. He was vasal at Riberhus from 1601, and he increased the estate of Holbækgaard. In 1630 he transferred it to his eldest son Christen, who lived here until 1633. Maybe it was for his children that Christen improved the stonehouse, since he extended it to the north and improved it in other ways. In the wall above the entrance of Holbækgård is a stone with the coat of arms of Christen Skeel and his first wife Birgitte Rud and the year 1645.
Christen Skeel died in 1659 after having outlived his second wife Margrethe Jørgensdatter Lunge. He has been characterized as one of the finest Danish noblemen. He was both State Commissioner and rigsråd, and he was used in many public services like in some embarrassing negotiations with Karl Gustav. (Sweden) He was a very sympathetic personality . His leftover writings, esp. his diary give much good information.
After his death his big estate was shared among his children. His daughter Berthe inherited Holbækgaard. It seems she also inherited the best qualities of her father's. She was married to Lieutenant General and Commander Niels Rosenkrantz of Skovgaard. They married 1661, but he died 14 years later - he was killed at the siege of Helsingborg. Berthe resided as a widow and owner of her father's manor until her death in 1720. Her husband had as a gift from Christen Skeel got Holbæk and Udby church with estate, and Berthe decorated those two churches where she was now the owner. In Holbæk church she rised in 1682 a richly carved altarpiece etc.