Sunday, November 08, 2009

Tirstrup church / Tirstrup kirke and Høgholm, Djurs Sønder herred, Randers amt.

Tirstrup Church, 12 km north of Ebeltoft
Tirstrup sogn, Djurs Sønder herred, Randers amt

The former Romanesque church was demolished in the middle of the 1400s and a new Gothic church was built in 1465 by Otte Nielsen Rosenkrantz of Bjørnholm, which was once one of the Hvide-family's most important manors, now named Høgholm; it is situated a few km north of the church. Tirstrup church is built in monk bricks, but several granite ashlars, ground stones and some lintels are preserved in the walls of the present church. The bricked-up north door of the nave is still visible with traces of a roof from a long gone porch. In the gable of the choir is a trefoil window. The church was restored in 1949-50, and on this occassion a frescoe decoration was uncovered in the vault with coat of arms of the church owners, Otte Rosenkrantz and wife Else Krognos, and the Århus bishop Jens Iversen Lange.

The late Gothic triptychon is a master piece from Claus Berg's workshop in Odense from ab. 1510-20. The strange square sided pulpit in Gotland limestone with foliage decorations from ab. 1300s is the oldest pulpit in Denmark - and the Gotland baptismal limestone font is about the same age. It is remarkable that so much inventory from the first church is preserved. Even the large Gothic crucifix upon the north wall seems to be earlier than the building-year 1465. In the choir is a beautiful gilded crucifix, a copy of the "Tirstrup-crucifix" which is a memory of a golden altar piece from the 1200s. The original crucifix is now at the National Museum .

There are several headstones , epitaphs and memorial tablets of the former owners of Høgholm (Bjørnholm). The coffin plates from the crypt are now in a room above the crypt. The church ship is the full-rigged ship"Danmark" from 1942.

Høgholm Manor.

was the first name of the farm/manor, but in 1681 Iver Juel Høg established the barony Høgholm . (A present farm Bjørnholm was established after the split-up of the barony).
Bjørnholm was in 1331 owned by hr. Stig Andersen Hvide den Yngre, who inherited it after his ancestors and built the manor himself. It was considered 'a safe place' in 1343. From here he lead the rebellion of the Danish nobility against the king. Few Danish noble families have achieved a fame like the family Hvide. Skjalm Hvide's family never used this family name but the Stig-sønnerne supposedly used it shortly before the family became extinct in the 1600th century. The Stig-sons are related to Skjalm Hvide's family on the maternal side, since marsk Stig Andersen den Ældre, 'kongemorderens' ('the regicide's) first two wives belonged to the Hvide-family. He did not use the name or the Hvide-coat of arms with the seven pointed star in his shield. No informations say that he owned Bjørnholm, but his son ridder Anders Stigsen of Tygestrup (Kongsdal) owned the manor and after him his son Stig Andersen Hvide den Yngre inherited Bjørnholm and Tygestrup. He was named after his famous grandfather, marsk Stig, according to tradition the killer of king Erik Klipping. (an intriguing crime-story still told with many aspects and conclusions).

When Christoffer II became Danish king in 1320 marsk Stig's family could return to their mother country - and the chief of the family, Stig Andersen Hvide, took again part in the old family estates. At Djursland he built in the following years Bjørnholm, perhaps on the same place where Høgholm is today . (In the neighbouring parish in the garden by the farm Obdrupgård - which during the 15th century was a farm building of Bjørnholm manor - is a motte , a circular castle bank, 6 m high and 20 m diameter, surrounded by a moat and a circular dam.)

As mentioned before Stig Andersen lead the Opposition against the royal power from Bjørnholm. In 1331 he was Grev Gert's (den kullede greve) marsk and belonged like Niels Bugge of Hald to the leaders inside the Jutland nobility. After the kill of grev Gert he went to king Valdemar's party and was for a period governor in Estonia, but when king Valdemar during the 1350s started his big reduction of the estates which the Crown has lost during the troubled years in Denmark, the friendship between the two men stopped. Valdemar took a part of Stig Andersen estates, and although Stig Andersen supposedly did not participate in the big rebellion against the king in 1357, he broke with Valdemar in 1359, after his son and his brother had been killed together with Niels Bugge in Middelfart in January 1359, supposedly requested by king Valdemar.

After the murder of his son and his brother, Stig Andersen Hvide decided that the farm/manor had to be assigned to his brother hr. Ove Stigsen's two sons, Jens and Anders Ovesen. Jens Ovesen had married drost Claus Limbeks daughter Elisabeth and they had one half of the manor after Stig Andersen's death in 1369, the second half of Bjørnholm was assigned to hr. Anders Ovesen (+ ab. 1420) - and when his son Ove Andersen died unmarried, his mother fru Else Krognos brought her part in Bjørnholm to her second husband , rigshofmester Otte Nielsen Rosenkrantz (1444, ab. 1468 he bought Mogens Ebbesen Galt's and Holger Munk's parts) which they had from the mother-in-law Inger Andersdatter Hvide. 1459 he bought Anders Ebbesen Galt's part. Later several owners.

The main building is built 1888-89, it is situated upon the rests of a square motte, where the old Bjørnholm was. A story from 1763 tells about a half-timbered house and an earlier ground-walled building with spires. In the forest is preserved a stone built wolf-trap.

Marsk Stig Andersen Hvide issued in 1287, shortly before he was outlawed , an assurance to Århus domkapitel (Cathedral) that his people or adherents should not cause the estates at Skramsholm (*1287 Skramsholm, possibly the high part of the parish by Øjesø and Langesø) or at any other place any damage. His son Anders Stigsen Hvide gave 1304 up his estates at Skramsholm in advantage of Århus domkapitel , but the cathedral exchanged in 1336 the estates in Skramsholm in advantage of his son hr. Stig Andersen Hvide den Yngre .

Bishop Peder Vognsen in Århus handed over Drammelstrup and two mills to his church in 1203. The Chapter in Århus Estate exchanged in 1336 Drammelstrup, Tirstrup, Nørup, Øksenmølle and other estate to Stig Andersen Hvide den Yngre of Bjørnholm. Still in 1789 a big part of this estate belonged to Høgholm.

Gråske mark (field) belonged in 1299 and 1336 to the canons of Århus.

Names in the Middle Ages: Tirstrup ( ab. 1300 Tistorp, 1444, Tiistorp); Drammelstrup (* 1203 Dragmolstorp, Dragmosthorp); Øksenmølle (* 1336 Øxønmylnæ, 1444 Øxnæmøllæ); Nørup (* 1336 Nythorp); Gråskegårde (* 1299 Groskæ mark); Bjørnholm (* 1331 Biørnholm, 1343 Byørnholm); Drammelstrupgård ( 1467 Drammelstropgard); Skramsø Mølle ( 1444 Schramsiomøllæ).

In the parish was a settlement Olpedrup; its mill is mentioned several times in the Middle Ages: (1444 Olpedorpmøllæ, 1468 Aaldrop møllestedt, 1496 Olpermølle).

Listed prehistorics: A somewhat destroyed round dolmen Bøgehøj northwest of Drammelstrup and a long dolmen in Bjørnholm's forest; a pretty stone cist at Bjørnholm, where were found a flint dagger, a clay cup and a slate jewelry.
Demolished or destroyed: A round dolmen, 2 long dolmens, one dolmen chamber and 26 hills of which most were in the fields north- and northwest of Drammelstrup.

Source: Trap Danmark Randers amt 1963; Politikens bog om Danmarks kirker; Danske slotte og herregårde, Djursland, bd. 14.

photo Tirstrup 2003/2005 + Høgholm 2007: grethe bachmann

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