Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gjesing church/ Gjesing kirke and Løvenholm, Sønderhald herred, Randers amt.

landscape at Løvenholm (photo of Gjesing church later)

The church has a Romanesque choir and nave and a Gothic western tower and northern porch. An original Romanesque window in the choir is still in use, while the rest of the Romanesque windows are walled-in. In the late Middle Ages was built a cross vault in the choir and the nave. The Gothic west tower is built in ashlars, granite boulder and monk bricks. The porch was originally built in raw granite boulder, but was in the late Middle Ages heightened with ashlars and monk bricks.

The altar piece is a Renaissance work with newer paintings. The altar candlesticks are from 1602 with the coat of arms of Otto Banner. The Romanesque granite font has a smooth basin and the pulpit is Renaissance and restored in 1905. The pretty closed pews are from ab. 1600. In the choir is a confessional with the coat of arms of the family Rantzau.

A church bell -which in 1705 blew down from the east wing's tower at Løvenholm and brought to Gjesing Church -might be identical with a former small church bell without inscription from the 1100s. The large bell is from 1641. A Romanesque gravestone is walled in high on the northside of the tower.

Names in the Middle Ages:
Nørre Gjesing (*1271 Gyæsingi, 1344 Gæsum, 1345 Gesingh); Sønder Gjesing (1664 Sønder Side aff Gieszingh, 1688 Synder Giessing); Krusborg ( 1688 Krugsborg Skoufhuusz); Munkhuse
(1688 Munckhuuszet); Løvenholm (1688 Løwenholmbs Hgd); Sorvad ( 1485 Sarewath, 1509 Sorwadt); Eldrupgård( in the 1200s Castrum Almæthorp, * 1271 Ælmæthorp); Skofferhus (1688 Schopperhuset); Højholt (1512 Høwholtt).

Sorvad was bought by Anders Banner in 1662 in an exchange with Århus domkapitel and he added it to his manor Gjesingholm. Various owners up til present. Today only 37 hectare.

Stig, arch dean in Roskilde and rural dean in Randers conveyed in 1271 a farm in Eldrup to the canons in Århus. Later it came to Stenalt manor.

In the parish is earlier mentioned the farms Vestergård (* 1509 Vestergaard) and Strandkærholm (1688 Strandkierholm) at Strandkær (1478 Strandkier).

Listed prehistorics: One round dolmen, 4 long dolmens, 2 small hills and 3 røser. (stone graves). The round dolmen is situated upon an islet in the moor Kejtenhale; it has a chamber with cover stone and 16 edge stones. One long dolmen is situated upon an islet in Dyrmosen; it is well-preserved with a cover stone above the pentagonal chamber and with many edge stones.
Demolished or destroyed: 15 hills.

A rune stone was earlier outside the chapel door of Løvenholm, but is now in the National Museum in Copenhagen; the stone is medieval and the insciption mentions Thyri Ebbesøn Lave. And says that "Horder huggede stenen" (Horder is Master Horder, the famous Djursland stone mason who carved the stone).

Source: Trap Danmark, Randers amt, 1963

Løvenholm, 25 km northeast of Randers

Løvenholm was until 1674 named Gjesingholm (*1460 Gieszingholmb). St. Hans Kloster (Johanniter/Malthesian) in Viborg owned the estate until 1455, when they sold it to the Benedictines in Essenbæk, who were the owners until the reformation. Latest from 1530 it belonged to rigsmarsk ("first military chief of State")Erik Eriksen Banner of Kokkedal (1484-1554). He belonged to the strong Jute nobility which later was behind the election of the protestantic Christian III.

The same Erik Banner was a vasal at Kalø in 1518-19 and had Gustav Vasa in imprisonment but let him get away. Later he became one of the most enthusiastic fighters for the reformation, during the Clementsfejden (civil war) he was the leader of the Jutland Nobility - he stopped Skipper Clement's advance and Johan Rantzau had to share the honour of victory with him. After 1536 he was Christian II's most trusted man and in 1541 he became rigens marsk.

After his death in 1554 the manor was taken over by his son Anders Eriksen Banner, who in 1576 built the east wing upon the large motte. Two of his sons, Erik, who died unmarried in 1597 and Otto Banner inherited Løvenholm. Otto Banner negotiated about a sale with his neighbour Eske Brock of Estrup, who wrote in his diary that on the 28th of December Laurids Otte Banner and Grett Brysk were with him about the sale of Giessingholm , but nothing came out of it.

But Otto Banner sold in 1609 his paternal manor to Frantz Rantzau. Gjesingholm now belonged to the descendants of Johan Rantzau for more than one hundred years. When Ditlev Rantzau became greve (count), grevskabet (count's estate) Løvenholm was etablished, but when greve Christian Ditlev Rantzau broke his engagement to a daughter of Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve and did not pay an agreed compensation the king confiscated in 1700 grevskabet (county) Løvenholm. Christian IV re-established grevskabet in 1732 and gave it to grev Frederik Danneskiold Samsøe who later was allowed to abolish it. Various owners came after this until the last owner donated the estate Løvenholm to the Løvenholm fond in 1947.

The main building of Løvenholm , listed in class A, is placed upon a square motte, high above the broad water-filled moats. It has an east wing with corner towers and an L-shaped south wing. The two wings are built in red bricks with red tiled roofs. The east wing is the earliest and the building master was Anders Eriksen Banner, son of rigsmarsk Erik Eriksen Banner. Below the east wing and the northern corner tower is preserved barrel-vaulted cellars from the 1500s. The house has a fine portrait collection and inventory from the 1700s. Løvenholm is restored in a beautiful way and furnished in the style and taste since the 1700s.

Løvenholm has now been unchanged for 300 years. Radical rebuilding has not changed the outer look of the house. The entrance stille leads across an embankment and a bridge and two old brick-built doghouses mark the crossing between the bridge and the motte. The park was probably established in the second half of the 1700s, here are chestnut avenues and a large lime avenue.There is public access to park and front place.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, Djursland, bd. 14; Trap Danmark, Randers amt, 1963;

Niels Peter Stilling, Danmarks slotte og herregårde, 1997.

photo 2003 & 2007: grethe bachmann

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