Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sahl church / Sahl kirke, Ginding herred, Ringkøbing amt.


Sahl Church, 12 km southwest of Skive
Sahl sogn, Ginding herred, Ringkøbing amt.
stig bachmann nielsen, Naturplan foto


Sahl Church was the main church in Ginding district during the Middle Ages. It is built in the second half of the 1100s in granite ashlars. The Romanesque building consists of nave, choir and apse. Three windows in the nave and two in the choir and a window in the apse are preserved, the choir and apse windows restored in 1947. Both original doors are preserved. The women's door on the north side is walled in, but has its original two pillars and a thympanum. The men's door on the southside behind the walls of the porch is in use. The entrance is flanked by double free-standing pillars and a smooth thympanum. The Gothic tower was added in the late 1400s. The bottom section is built in re-used ashlars from the broken western wall. The top white-washed section is built in monk bricks. The tower was higher but was rebuilt in 1784. The present tower with its pyramid roof is due to a repair in 1916 after a lightning. The porch is built in monk bricks.

The church room is high and very light with a flat beamed ceiling. The choir arch is very broad and has kept its two side-altar niches, where the southern is carved through as stairs to the pulpit. The apse with a half cupola-vault is closed towards the choir with a wall and functions as a sacristi.

Frescoes at the old windows


Door from 1500s and late Gothic crucifix

Inventory: Small altar candelabres in late medieval type. A Romanesque granite font with lily shaped ornaments upon the basin. A Netherland baptismal bowl from the 1600s. A large late Gothic choir arch crucifix. A pulpit in Renaissance with paintings of the evangelists. Large closed pews in oak from the Renaissance-period; parts from pews of West Jutland type from 1584 re-used as gables at the wall. In apse a confessional , partly from 1622 and a series pastorum from the beginning of the 1800s . Money block in oakwood. An oakwood door wing from the Renaissance period, originally belonging to the south door, is now placed in the northern door niche.


The men's door in the porch with pillars and thympanum.
stig bachmann nielsen, Naturplan foto


The golden altar
stig bachmann nielsen, Naturplan foto



The golden altar, detail

The finest piece of Sahl Church is the golden altar. It is the only fully preserved golden altar in the North and a main work in European art history. It was probably made in Ribe ab. 1200 at the same workshop, which also mastered the later altar-front in Stadil Church north of Ringkøbing. The gild copperplates are fastened upon a base of oak wood and consists of two sections. The bottom section is the original altar-front, while the top section is the retablet with Heavens' Gate which was placed upon the communion table itself. The golden altar is today placed upon the apse wall behind the communion table, which was dictated by the National Museum for security reasons.



Names in the Middle Ages and 1600s:
Sahl (1330-48 Salæ); Vinderup (* 1274 Windorp); Hasselholt (* 1406 Haselholt, 1454 Hassleholt, Haslæholt); Nr. Bjert (* 1422 Byærtæ, 1688 Sønder Bierne bye); Agerbæk ( Ackebeck, 1485 Agerbek); Hovgård (1388 Swensthorp houegaar, 144 Howgard); Nold ( 1510 Nøldher mark, 1688 Noldgaard); Obitsø ( 1510 Obbysø mark, 1688 Obeedtzgaard); Buskov (1511 Bosko, Boscho); Bulig (1591 Buling, 1688 Boelig); Vindelev (1467 Winderløff, 1510 Windeløff); Øster and Vester Skovlund (1467 Wester Skofflending, 1547 Vester-Øster Skovflendt); Sevelstedgård (1489 Søffweltwedh, 1688 Søuelstedgaard); Brendtang ( 1510 Brentange).

Vinderup Hovgård was a main manor mentioned 1274 ("Wynderopgaardt"), when fru Lucie conveyed it to former marsk Jens Kalf in return for a contribute to Stubberkloster; in 1349 Jens Kalf's daughter Inger lived at V.; she was married to Albert Albertsen Eberstein; also her brother's son Erland K. ,who still lived in 1377, owned it. In 1422 væbner Henrik Friis is mentioned of Wyndropp, whereafter it was owned by Eske Friis and his daughter fru Mette, married to Oluf Nielsen (Sort) of Fovsing Hovgård. Later it was a farm, which in 1615 by Palle Rosenkrantz was sold to Claus Maltesen Sehested's widow Anne Nielsdatter Lykke (+ 1645), whose son Malte Sehested (+ 1661) established it into a ladegård( farm) under Rydhave ab. 1650. After his widow Margrethe Frederiksdatter Reedtz' death in 1693 it came to their sons-in-law Gregers Ulfstand Høg of Vang and Jørgen Grubbe Kaas of Rybjerg . Later owners: Sehested, Boserup, Sejersen etc. In 1913 sold to a consortium, which outparcelled it for villas in Vinderup stationsby.

In the meadow area in the northwestern outskirt of Vinderup By is the large castle bank Vinderup Vold, an ab. 4 m high square castle bank with round corners. It is surrounded by a moat. Bricks have been found.

Svenstrup was a main farm, owned by Herman Knudsen, whose brother the væbner Chr. Luggi in 1378 pawned it to Ribe bishopric, and he and Jens Pors later conveyed S. to the bishopric. In 1388 bishop Jens Mikkelsen gave it to Ribe chapter, which endowed it to Jes Juel. In 1492 is mentioned Erik Pallesen Juel in Svenstrup Hovgård. Still in 1661 it was under the chapter, but in 1688 it had become ryttergods (a cavalry estate). The king conveyed it in 1717 for 575 rigsdaler to Christen Linde of Volstrup, and in 1770 it was divided in two farms, one under Volstrup, the other under Handbjerg Hovgård.

In Hasselholt was a main farm, which was owned by fru Gunner Bosdatter Høg, widow after Erland Kalf, who is mentioned in 1411. In 1489 it was owned by Niels Krabbe, whose wife Kirsten Bosdatter Høg had inherited it together with her sister Karen.

In the crack of an old oak coffin from Sahl church were in 1850 found 8 coins from Erik Plovpenning and Erik of Pommern.

From disappeared buildings in the parish are the farms Lerballe (1683 Lierballe), earlier named Agerkrog (1683 Agerkroog); Brendshede (* 1489 Brentzhee); Trabjerg (1494 Troberig, 1612 Thrabberigh); Abildholt (1612 Albildholt); and in Svenstrup the farms Nørgård (1683 Nørgaard); Meldgård (1683 Melgaar); Søndergård (1683 Syndergaard) and Bjerregård (1683 Bieregaard.)

Listed prehistorics: 17 hills, most of them are small single graves from Stone age and situated in the heath to the north.
Demolished or destroyed: 27 hills.
Sahl Church

The name Sal is a reminder of the Viking Period and heathen sacrifice places = gudehov. But it is not known where this gudehov were, or if the present stone church had one or two wooden predecessors. A west Jutland legend says that the golden altars were given to the two churches from an English prince who was shipwrecked at Bovbjerg. The Stadil altar was the foot piece and the Sahl altar was the head piece of the prince's bed. Most important in this legend is that it bares witness that our earliest churches' connection to England was a part of the national Danish consciousness.

The copy of a medieval church at Hjerl Hede Open-Air Museum.


The church yard is surrounded by old stone dikes and a pretty western late Gothic portal. Similar but smaller portals are preserved on the south and east side of the church yard.
Sahl is situated only a few km southwest of the pretty open air museum Hjerl Hede. Here is a museum's church showing the medieval church building and the technique of the frescoes.

Source:Trap Danmark, Ringkøbing amt, 1965; Niels Peter Stilling, Danmarks kirker, 2000.


photo Sahl kirke/Hjerl Hede 2003/ Sahl kirke 2009: grethe bachmann

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