Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rosmus church / Rosmus kirke and Rugård, Djurs Sønder herred, Randers amt.

Rosmus Church, 20 km south west of Grenå
Rosmus sogn, Djurs Sønder herred, Randers amt.

The little white-washed church was in 1517 called Vor Frue kirke (Our Lady's Church). The nave and the former choir with apse are Romanesque, they were built in limestone ashlars and field stones, but the outer walls of the nave are little by little rebuilt in bricks , and the limestones have been removed. The tower is built in the end of the Middle Ages in field stones mixed with monk bricks. The porch is from the same period. It has solid walls mostly of field stones.

The altar piece from ab. 1800 has a simple structure with half pillars as a frame of a contemporary painting. A Romanesque granite font with lion figures from the same workshop as the Hyllested-font. Simple pulpit from the 1600s with panelwork as a frame around arcade fields. Upmost in the nave a couple of high pew gables from the beginning of the 1600s. Upon the north wall a memorial tablet for fallen soldiers from 1864.

Rugård. In his will of 1183 bisp Svend of Århus gave Øm kloster various estate in this area, mainly in Rosmus parish; farms are mentioned in Rosmus, Attrup, Ørup and Enegårde. Rosmus church belonged to the kloster and was administered by monks who was sent from there. The last abbot in Øm, Jens Simensen, was at the abolition of the kloster given Rosmus parish and got the vicarage in Rosmus and Rugård and another farm in the parish. In 1545 Chr. III had established Rosmus parish into a birk (judicial), later named Rugård's birk, and Fr. II exchanged this in 1579 to Hans Axelsen Arenfeldt of Palsgård ( 1611); Hans Arenfeldt broke Rude village (16 farms) and built Rugård's main building. The farm was divided among some of his children, but was gathered again by the son stiftamtmand Mogens Arenfeldt (+ 1671) whose son kammerjunker Hans Arenfeldt in 1682 sold R. to his cousin etstsråd Jørgen Arenfeldt (+ 1717), who was known for his witch-hunts with water tests in Smededammen outside R., the rack and the fire. He sold R. by auction in 1707 to his son Axel Arenfeldt. Later owners: Benzon, Ingerslev, Schjøtt, Mourier-Petersen, in 1950: Christian Mourier-Petersen.

The main building is listed in klasse A. It is a two-storey brick-built house in red bricks, built in the 1580s by Hans Axelsen Arenfeldt. On the east side of the house is a storey with loop holes. On the west side are two three-storey octagonal towers. On the east side of the house to the right of the gate have been found spindelen of a stair tower. Between the lake and the sea east of the house are still overgrown rests of wolf-traps.

The Witch-Hunter from Rugård:
The lord of the manor Rugård, Jørgen Arenfeldt, created an atmosphere of terror around himself and his estate. He saw evil magic everywhere, and in the 1680s he had his own private witch-hunts. The women, suspected of witchcraft, were exposed to the water-test, which Jørgen Arenfeldt liked the most to supervise. He stood in the middle of an admiring crowd, while the women were tied and thrown into the water (Smededammen in front of Rugård) by the executioner. If they survived the water test they were put on the fire. But the poor women were also tortured with the rack and with burning sulphur. His withchunts were first stopped when he had brought some women from Århus for his next bonfire. They were too well-respected for this treatment, and in 1686 he was judged to make amends at Viborg Thing and pay a large fine. So Jørgen Arenfeldt did not lead more witch-hunts, but strangely enough the mad witch-hunter from Rugård was later appointed with the fine title of etatsråd.

Names in the Middle Ages:
Rosmus (*1183 Røzmose, 1560 Rosmus); Ørup (* 1183 Øgethorp); Attrup (*1183 Attethorp); Balle, (Vester Balle, 1469 Balligh); Enegårde (*1183 Ening, Eninge, 1534 Jæningard ); Rugård
(ab. 1300 Ruthæskogh, 1467 Rwdegard; Ridegard).

In the parish was the village Rude (Rove) with 16 farms which Hans Axelsen Arenfeldt abolished in 1579 together with the vicarage "Rovegaard Lofthidt" when he established Rugård.

Listed prehistorics: One round dolmen without cover stone at Balle, one long dolmen with two chambers without cover stones in Sønderskov, 3 dolmen chambers without cover stones and 15 hills, of which one in a group of 5 hills in Sønderskov is rather large; furthermore 3 røser (stone graves).
Demolished or destroyed: 3 round dolmens, 5 long dolmens, 17 dolmens or stone chambers, 34 hills and one stone ship.

Source: Trap Danmark, Randers amt, 1963

photo Rosmus/Rugård 2003-2007: grethe bachmann

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