Monday, December 14, 2009

Gjerrild church / Gjerrild kirke and Sostrup, Djurs Nørre herred, Randers amt.

Gjerrild Church, ab. 12 km north of Grenå
Gjerrild sogn, Djurs Nørre herred, Randers amt.

The large white-washed church in Gjerrild has a Romanesque choir and nave and late Gothic additions, a western tower, a porch to the south and a chapel to the north. The Romanesque building is in limestone ashlars and like other churches on Djursland it is richer decorated than usual. The still used south door is very re-walled, the north door with half pillars is still seen. Inside is the Romanesque choir arch , but in the late Gothic period was built one cross-vault in the choir and two in the nave. There are no safe traces as assumed that the tower was added already in the Romanesque period. Its bottom section is in re-used ashlar-material, the upper section is in monk bricks. The tower room has a cross-vault and opens to the nave in a pointed arch. A stair house at the south corner has a spindeltrappe (winding staircase). The large middle storey has a big round-arched opening to the west, which indicates that the room was used as a storage yard for tiendekornet (the peasant paid a tax of 1/10 of the corn). The added building at the north side of the nave is mostly built in monk bricks, and with some re-use of material from the nave. The room has a cross-vault and opens to the nave in a broad point arched archade. The modest porch is from the late Gothic period in monk bricks. The church was restored in 1953.

In the vaults of the nave are funny frescoes from ab. 1500 . Among the frescoes are the coat of arms of the Kalø-vasal Oluf Friis (+1501). Among many others there is a funny frescoe of a woman churning butter but is disturbed by little devils. The communion table is in limestone ashlars, on the backside is an opening, which is closed by a late Gothic iron-cast gate. The altar piece is from the 1680s in Baroque with the coat of arms of Chr. Skeels and Birgitte Rosenkrantz. After the last restoration the altar piece is ornamented in black and gold. The chalice is late Gothic from 1490 originating from Helligåndsklostret in Randers. It is renewed. A Romanesque granite font with unusual reliefs. A man with a cup sits between two lions, a deer is being torn by a dog (?) and a standing animal with a bird's head. A sounding board in Baroque from ab. 1680. The pulpit rests upon a figure of Moses, it has the year 1683. A contemporary sounding board and opgangsportal (stair-portal) to the pulpit with the four coat of arms of Jørgen Skeels. Upon a stool gable with a profiled field is the year 1682. In the tower a clockwork from 1700s, not in use. Upon the face of the watch the years 1853 and 1890. Church bell from 1817 by D. Reimer.

Sostrup slot

Sostrup in the northeastern corner of Djursland is especially known for its great Renaissance-portal from the beginning of the 1600s. The main building is built ab. 1600 and is surrounded by waterfilled moats on all sides. The building is a fine example of Djursland's many manors from the Renaissance period. The fine sandstone-portal has the coat of arms of Jacob Seefeld and his two wives. His widow Sofie Bille had finished the building and let the table put up. The high three-winged plan is placed upon a square motte. The building is in red monk bricks. In two corners are two octagonal stair towers. Jørgen Skeel of Ulstrup bought Sostrup in 1612, and he put up the magnificent sandstone portal, made by the stone mason Henrik Henriksen. It is almost similar to a portal at Jørgens Skeel's other manor Ulstrup.

The inner Sostrup is marked by the changing times. After WWII Sostrup housed German fugitives and was shortly after rented out to the idealist Torben Brix' boarding school. The main building is now established as a hotel/pension and course center after a thorough restoration in the middle of the 1970s. Well-kept beamed ceilings were uncovered. The most interesting room is a yellow salon at the first floor with a painted ceiling and beautiful yellow tapestry from ab. 1800 and the living room with imitated gilt leather tapestry from the 1700s. The 400 year old winding stair in oak timber reminds about a similar stair at Gammel Estrup. The vaulted cellars are preserved under most of the building.

In the 1300s and 1400s Sostrup belonged to some rebellious families, the Jutland Hvide-family who did not like Valdemar Atterdags inroads in the estates at Djursland. Sostrup is possibly the Svorttorp which in 1327 by king Valdemar III was pawned to Erik Holck and Ove Iversen. A thing's witness of 1400 informs that Iver Lauridsen exchanged Sostrup and estate to Jens Lagesen (Udsen), who in 1388 transferred his estate in Sostrup and Vibekær to hr. Svend Udsen. He got in 1404 another part in this estate from Esge Torbernsen's widow Karen Madsdatter and is still the owner of Sostrup in 1414, while his widow Kristine Andersdatter Hvide owned it in 1428. Their daughter Gertrud was married to 1) Lange Jens Ovesen (Mur-Kaas), and 2) to hr. Niels Munk (Bjælke-Munk) (+ before 1460); after her death Sostrup came to the son Anders Munk (+ 1504). Later it came to Gertrud Munk who was married to Jens Hvass who was executed in 1536. The estate came to the crown, but it was given back in 1572 and Jens Hvass the Young sold the estate to rigsråd Jacob Seefeld in 1612. After his son Hans Seefeld had sold Sostrup to the rigsmarsk Jørgen Skeel it belonged to the Skeel/Scheel- family for the next 200 years up till 1823. In the 1900s it belonged to the family Benzon, but the estate was changed into a private company. The estate was confiscated in 1945 and up till 1948 used as a camp for German fugitives.

Sostrup was in 1960 bought by the Catholic Cistercienser order and established partly as a nunnery and partly as a hotel.

Stokkebrogård was in 1348 (* Stockebrogaard) by hr. Svend Skubbe's wife Karen sold to hr. Niels Bugge. His daughter's son hr. Johan Skarpenberg exchanged 1404 Sostrup and estate to hr. Peder Nielsen Gyldenstierne of Ågård. In 1436 Jes Stigsen in Ormslev was written to Sostrup etc. which was assigned to him by law in 1443, but in 1470 Mourids Nielsen Gyldenstierne sold Sostrup with 24 farms etc. to hr. Axel Lagesen Brock, and with his daughter's daughter Mette Bydelsbak it came to hr. Mogens Gøye, who in 1507 claimed it by law. His son's daughter's son Otte Brahe sold it in 1618 to hr. Jørgen Skeel of Sotrup, to which it still belonged in 1664.

Hr. Stig Andersen Hvide exchanged 1342 some estate in Gjerrild to his brother Uffe Andersen, who earlier had given it to him. In 1347 Uffe Andersen pawned estate in Gjerrild to his brother's hovmester Niels Jensen for 12 mark silver; he had got the estate as a pawn from Albert Albertsen Eberstein for the same sum of money. Before 1466 Jep Friis is mentioned in Gjerrild. Jens Hvas in Gjerrild, who is mentioned in 1483-97, had a standing stub (stump) in his coat of arms.

Names in the Middle Ages:
Gjerrild (* 1251 Gerwiltie, 1342 Gærwyld, 1347 Gerwil); Stokkebro (* 1348 Stockebro); Brøndstrup (1489 Brinstrupss Strand, 1505 Brønstrup, Brøntrop) Sostrup (Benzon * 1327 Svorttorp, 1388 Sorstorp).

Listed prehistorics:
At Gjerrild Lighthouse is Troldhøj with rests of a large stone grave, furthermore 19 hills of which 12 is in Sostrup forests and 3 in Brøndstrup plantation.
Demolished or destroyed: two round dolmens, 3 long dolmens of which one Biskosstenen had 2 chambers ; and 15 hills. In one of the hills was a stone cist with several skeletons from a later single grave culture, one skeleton had a trephined skull, another had a flint arrow in the breastbone.

At Fjeldholm is a important settlement from Ertebøllekulturen. From Stokkebro is known claypot-graves from early Roman period, in beach grovel at Gjerrild were found 12 axes from Viking period, pulled upon a bar, probably some trading goods from a shipwreck.

Trap Danmark, Randers Amt, 1963 , Danmarks slotte og herregårde , Niels Peter Stilling 1998.
photo 2008/2009: grethe bachmann

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