Friday, July 17, 2009

Børglum church/ Børglum klosterkirke, Børglum herred, Hjørring amt

Børglum Kloster, ab. 14 km southwest of Hjørring
Børglum sogn, Børglum herred, Hjørring amt.

Regency altar

Baptismal font and gallery

The pretty kloster yard

A white brother in his monk's cell

The gate

Fields outside Børglum

The church in Børglum forms a part of the manor Børglumkloster's north wing. To the east the rests of a Romanesque choir and vault and to the west of a Gothic nave, but both sections are only parts of the grand original planned building. The Romanesque church is mostly built in granite ashlars upon a profiled plinth. The choir had once a large apse. In the northwest corner of the cross arm was once a spindle staircase. The very rich plan seems to be a further development of that of Viborg domkirke and especially of Vestervig. In spite of the clean Romanesque style this magnificent church was not begun until ab. 1220, but parts of the found ashlars in the area might origin from an earlier church. A small pillar base (now in the National Museum) is signed with the name Tove by the stone mason. During the disturbed conditions in the middle of the 1200s the building work had stopped and not until the end of the century the nave and the some of the side naves were finished. The whole church was vaulted ab. 1500 , in the main nave with a large star-vault, and it might be that the western gable was built at that point. During the reformation period the large church fell more and more into decay, until Godslev Budde achieved Fr. II's permission to break down the cross arms in order to get restoration material for the other parts of the church.

The altar piece covers the whole broadth of the eastern wall and is almost 12 m high. The style is Regency with a strong influence from the previous period. (acanthus-leaves). The main altar picture is a copy of a Rubens-painting, "The Holy Communion", painted in 1727 by M.Chr. Thrane. Upon the wall and the vault behind the altar is painted a large huge baldachin. A pretty Madonna-figure from ab. 1250 is at the museum in Aalborg. A Netherland work from ab. 1500 of a Madonna-figure and four reliefs, a late Gothic Anna selvtredie, and a crucifix -figure from the 1400s are all at the National Museum. A silver oblat desk has bishop Jacob Friis' name and coat of arms (+ 1486) , the chalice was re-cast in ab. 1740 . The granite baptismal font has a bowl with the names of Holger Rosenkrantz and Sofie Brahe and the year 1637. The font is placed in the northern nave in a pretty small baptismal chapel with carved and painted panels, carved by the Horsens- joiner Jørgen Jørgensen. The font's sounding board was restored in 1960. The large choir arch crucifix is from ab. 1400; it has a new painting and is now placed upon the southern archade-wall. The pulpit is from ab. 1750 and has paintings of Christ and the Evangelists. The manor gallery in the west end of the nave is richly decorated with achantus around the monograms of the family Kiærskiold. Furthermore is painted the coat of arms of Thurah, his wife and her first husband Rantzau. The organ above the the manor-chair is Rococo, it was given by Thurah and his wife in 1750. A new wooden bell house at the church yard has (acc. to Pont. Atlas) replaced a tall free-standing bell house. The large bell is late Gothic.

When the church floor was being re-newed by Thurah, clerical burials were found under the altar floor. From this origins a portrait stone for bishop Jacob Friis (+ 1486), which is now in the north wall of the nave. At the same place is a portrait stone for bishop Niels Stygge (+ 1533). Under the gallery and in the floor west of the baptismal chapel are two pieces of a grave stone for ridder Niels Thorstenson, (+ 1395) with his carved coat of arms. Furthermore several gravestones and epitaphs.

Names in the Middle Ages:
Børglum (1611 Børlum); Børglumkloster (ab. 1100 Buhrlanis, * 1139 Burglanensis, 1330 Byrlum); Vittrup (* 1448 Wiptorp, Wibetorp, Wihetorp); Fristrup (1611 Friistrup); Skøttrup
(1611 Skiøttrup); Mariegårde (*1470 Maregaardt, Marigars lade); Nr.- and Sdr. Løt (* 1400 Luidt, 1688 Lyt); Hjortnæs (1611 Hiorttneess); Østergård ( 1579 Østergaard); V. and Ø. Stenbjerggård (* 1469 Stenbergaardtt).

According to an incorrect description by Ælnoth in his "Knud Konges martyr krønike" from ab. 1120 Børglum got its name from a queen Burlina who lived here. Børglum was originally a king's castle; Knud den Hellige stayed here in 1086 when the Vendelbos rebelled against him. In 1139 a bishop Self (Sylvester) of Børglum is mentioned, while his predecessor bishop Kjeld (+ 1134) is called bishop of Vestervig - it is possible that Børglum in the period 1134-39 went from the Crown to the bishopric, but the knowledge about this is vague. In 1215 a kloster society must have been established here. (Præmonstrans-order) The mother kloster was Steinfeld in Eiffel at Rhinen.(The bishopric of Cologne). Børglum Kloster quickly achieved great esteem. The bishop of Vendsyssel chose Børglum for his bishopric and probably moved into the former king's castle (Børglum bispegård is mentioned in 1496, where væbner Niels Pedersen lived).

A cathedral was established in ab. 1220-30. The monks were called de hvide brødre (the white brothers) caused by their white woolen dress, but in 1403 they were allowed to wear an almutium (shoulder cap with a hood) over the white dress like other præmonstrans-canons in other cathedrals. Of the deans are mentioned i.e. Eskil 1245, Olaf Glob ab. 1250, Johannes(Jens) 1304, Trugillus 1337, etc. Some wellknown names are Niels Styggesen Rosenkrantz, Jens Andersen Beldenak, Stygge Krumpen. Børglum kloster gathered much estate in the area. In 1535 it was the richest of all klosters in Nørrejylland. From 1540 it was a vasalry and vasals were i.e. Albert Andersen Skeel 1540-47, Frands Eriksen Banner of Kokkedal 1557-74, Erik Nielsen Kaas (Sparre-K.) 1574-78 etc. Various owners of Børglum up til present. Some outparcelling.

The white-washed main building forms together with the church a plan of great effect. The north wing is adjacent to the church and is like the west and south wing built in the late Middle Ages in monk bricks in two storeys. The wings close around a square kloster yard. During the 1600s the buildings were in a miserable condition, and when it was restored it seems that the architect Thurah completely removed the medieval character and changed into the present Baroque building. But the large restorations in the 1860s and 1930s have put the building in a fine condition. During the 1930s several traces were found from the kloster period. The Catholic bishops did not reside at the kloster, but the placement of Bispegården is hardly connected to the name Bisgård south of the kloster, more probably it was situated at the church yard or at the hill to the north where are found pieces of monk bricks, but they might origin from another building or a tile kiln.

Listed prehistorics: The large Galgehøj at Børglumkloster.
Demolished or destroyed: One long hill and 40 hills, mostly in the northwest part of the parish. In a moor at Vittrup was found s skeleton with a crushed skull, a wooden club and a pretty decorated clay bowl, probably a sacrifice from Stone Age. From Skøttup is a finding of 1500 amber pearls. An axe handle made of antlers from Bronze Age was found at Mariegårde. Early Roman period-graves are known from Børglumkloster, Vittrup and Mariegård.

In the northern road-ditch west of Bålhøj was the holy St. Bodils spring.

Source: Trap Danmark, Hjørring amt, 1960.

photo Børglumkloster 2003 : grethe bachmann

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