Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hørdum church /Hørdum kirke, Hassing herred, Thisted amt.

Hørdum Church


The Thor Stone is the only picture stone in Denmark.

Hørdum church was earlier named 'De fire Evangelisters kirke' (Church of the Four Evangelists). It is built in granite ashlars with a long nave, a northern porch and a choir with a half circular apse. Examinations made by the National Museum in 1955 concluded that the choir and apse are the earliest parts of the building from ab. 1170. The south door is walled, and the north door , which is still in use, has a half circular tympanon and relief cross. Under the floor of the nave were found rests of a wooden building, which had been functioning as a temporary nave in connection to the ashlar built choir. The wooden building was later succeeded by the present stone built nave. In the present church several romanesque windows are preserved, one in the apse, one in the northern side walls of the choir and the nave.

The excavations showed that the Romanesque nave from the beginning was built together with a western tower, since foundations were found of the pillars which supported the long gone three double tower arch. In the late Middle Ages a porch was built plus a tower which was demolished in 1817. A new and distinctive tower was built in front of the western gable in 1955 , in the style of a medieval fortification tower.

Inside the church are beamed ceilings and the old triumph arch is preserved. The Romanesque granite font has four engraved crosses. The pulpit is Renaissance from 1625. Upon the ashlar built altar piece is a modern cross and two high ore-candelabres given in 1650 by Hans Hansen and Maren Andersdatter. Two epitaphs in the church, one for fru Hedvig von Itzen, + 1728, and one for her husband Chr. Helverskov of Irup, + 1733. A Romanesque gravestone with a carved cross is in the porch.

The Thor Stone in the porch is the only picture stone in Denmark. The painting shows the tale from Norse Mythology about Thor's fishing for the Midgard Serpent. During the fight his feets go through the bottom of the boat. The stone was first recognized as being a rarity in 1954 and was used as the last step on the staircase to the belltower at that time. It had also been used as a building stone and is therefore incomplete. The stone dates back to the 11th century.

Names in the Middle Ages and 1600s:
Hørdum (*1405 Øster Hørdum, 1424 Hyrdhom)
Koldby (1556 Koelkoede, 1664 Kold kud, 1688 Koldbye); Tøttrup (*1445 Tottrup, 1556 Tøtterup); Irup (*1449 Yrop); Tøttrupgård (1600 Tøttrupgaardt).
Irup belonged to the bishops of Børglum. In 1449 is mentioned the bishop's official Anders Mathisen in Irup, in 1450 Nis Persen, in 1467 Thomas Persen, but already in 1463 and since in 1475 and 1481 Peder Friis (+1483), in 1484 his widow Christine Nielsdatter of Irup, in 1502 the king's official Niels Hvid and in 1512 he bishop's official Jens Sewrensen, all of Irup. At the reformation Irup came to the Crown and was a vasalry until 1556, when it was sold to Knud Gyldenstierne of Ågård (+1568), after whom his widow Jytte Podebusk was the owner. Probably it was inherited by their daughter Karen Gyldenstierne (+1596) married to Axel Gyldenstierne (+ 1603), their son Knud Gyldenstierne (+ 1636), whose daughter Karen G. married the wealthy rigsråd Tage Ottesen Thott. Their son Ove Thott sold in 1661 Irup with some estate to Albert von Itzen from Copenhagen (+ 1679) . His sister's daughter Hedevig von Itzen brought it in 1684 by marriage to the learned High Court Judge Christian Hermann Helverskov (+1733). Various owners up till present.

In Hørdum was a farm Rævsgård (*1435 Reffs gardh, *1449 Ræffsgardh); in Tøttrup the farms Ringgård (1603 Ringgaardt) and Røkkrup (1606 Røchrup). In the parish is also mentioned the mill Lillemølle (1664 Lille Mølle, 1688 Lild wandmøhle).

Listed prehistorics: 3 long hills and 43 hills of which many are large, the 9 m high Høverhøj, where were found a bronzesword and a goldfingerring, Skjoldhøj, Præsthøj, Hvinhøj at Tøttrupgård, one of the Dåshøjene, a hill at Koldby and 3 at Irup.
Demolished or destroyed: 125 hills, of which were the 3 Hvirvilshøje, mentioned in Pont. Atlas and to which a legend is connected about the sea king Hvirvil, who was killed in a fight at the coast of Zealand. Under a large stone in Hørdum were found 5 large amber axes, and also in Hørdum was found a settlement from Roman period and 3 silverbracelets from the Viking Period.

Source: Trap Danmark, Thisted amt, 1961
photo 2003: grethe bachmann