Thursday, February 25, 2010

Løvenholm, Djursland, East Jutland, Randers amt.

Løvenholm, ab. 20 km east of Randers.
Gjesing sogn, Sønderhald herred, Randers amt.

Løvenholm, which is traceable to the 15th century, was named Gjesingholm until 1674. The Knights Hospitaller in Viborg (Skt. Hans Kloster) owned the farm and five farm-houses until 1445, when they sold to the Benedictines in Essenbæk, who already had two farms in Gjesing village. After the reformation the kloster came to the Crown, and the small kloster-farm with estate was transferred to Erik Eriksen Banner of Kokkedal (1484-1554). Erik Banner was in the period 1518-19 vasal at Kalø Castle. He had Gustav Vasa as a prisoner , but let him get away. Later he became one of the most eager advocates of the reformation. During the Clementsfeud he was the leader of the Jutland nobility; he stopped skipper Clement's advance, and Johan Rantzau had to share the honour of the final victory with him. After 1536 he had a leading office as Christian III's most trusted man, and in 1541 he became rigens marsk.( rigens = kingdom, marsk = chief of army ). When his large estate after his death was exchanged, Gjesingholm went to his son Anders Banner.

Anders Banner built a house in the eastern side of the large bank. The east wing was built with corner towers and stair tower. the broad moats get fresh water from springs in the bottom and has an outlet to a brook (Ggjesing bæk) which comes from a lake (Langsøen) in Storskoven (forest) and later runs together with Hevringholm Å river. The house itself still stands but was changed in the 1760s. After Anders Banner's death in 1583 Gjesingholm belonged to his two sons, first Erik (+ 1597), then Otto, who in 1608 negotiated about sale with his neighbour Eske Brock of Estrup, who wrote in his diary:" On the 28.(December) Laurids Naulff Otte Banner and Grett Brysk were here by me about negotiation of Giessingholm, and it came to nothing."

In 1609 Otto Banner sold his ancestral farm to Frantz Rantzau, and in 1616 he sold to his brother Gert Rantzau of Breitenburg (1558-1627), Henrik Rantzau's son and successor as the king's governor in hertugdømmerne (the duchies). Gjesingholm belonged for over 100 years to Johan Rantzau's descendants, but it was however only a small part in the large estate of the Holstein family. Gert Rantzau's brother Breide married into the Danish nobility and lived in Denmark, while Gert Rantzau and his descendants kept feeling Holsteiners, although they bought much estate in Jutland. They never became Jutlanders.

Gert Rantzau was a learned and widely travelled man, who in 1584-90 was a vasal at Kronborg, where he improved the fortifications and the buildings. The rest of his life he was attached to hertugdømmerne. He was in high esteem by Christian IV and was used in important diplomatic offices. When the Kejserkrig (war) broke out, he led the defence-negotiations in hertugdømmerne and declared at the landdag (assembly) in Rendsborg in 1626 that he would be a good example for the knights and in spite of his high age meet the enemy in person, but before the attack came, he got critically ill on a travel to Kiel. He had in his long life showed that he was " getreuer wie ein Rantzau" and was followed to his grave by his king.

His son Christian Rantzau (1614-63) became statholder (governor) in hertugdømmerne for Frederik III, and in 1649 he bought Gottorp Barmstedt district for two barrels gold (200.000 rigsdaler). His new estate was elevated to a rigsgrevskab Rantzau = Reich county Rantzau. The title as rigsgreve made him independent of the landlords of Holstein, the king of Denmark and the herzog (duke) of Holstein-Gottorp. He got various rights, like to coin money and distribute nobility patents. Later he was, as the king's friend, the leader of the circle, which had to realize the absolute monarchy. In 1661 he became the king's Prime Minister. His health was by now weak and he died in 1663, the only Prime Minister ever in Denmark.

Christian Rantzau did not stay much at Gjesingholm, but he built the south wing in 1642-43 , which is narrower and shorter than the east wing. In 1637 he had established Gjesingholm birk (judicial rights), which existed until 1828. In 1641 he got in an exchange with the Crown kirke- og kongetiende (= taxes ) and jus patronatus of Gjesing kirke. Ditlev Rantzau (1644-97) did not take part in the government of the kingdom, but he was without doubt the richest landowner in the country. Besides the rigsgrevskabet Rantzau, Breitenburg and many other farms in Holstein and Schleswig he owned Gjesingholm, Demstrup, Sødringholm, Skovggård in Koldinghus district and Eskjær in Salling. After he in 1671 became a member of the Danish grevestand (the counts' society) he established in 1674 grevskabet (county) Løvenholm, which included the above mentioned farms with estate. The name of grevskabet comes from the animal in the Rantzau coat of arms: the lion. Although Løvenholm was the residence of grevskabet, it was probably not occupied, and according to a building inspection in 1680 it was badly maintained. Before his death greven made a testamentary decision that rigsgrevskabet had to be given to the king of Denmark, if his sons died childless.

landscape with cattle at Løvenholm

His eldest son Christian Ditlev Rantzau (1670-1721) took up both grevskaber and all the estate. He became vice-regent, land-councellor and knight; his future looked bright, but he spoiled it by a strange behaviour; he annulled his betrothal to a daughter of Ulrik Gyldenløve, and when he would not pay the agreed indemnity of 30.000 species, the king abandoned grevskabet, until he had paid - and ousted him as vice-regent. He was also in a feud with the Preussian king and was imprisoned in Spandau for a period. He would not give his brother Wilhelm Adolph ( 1684-1734) his rightful inheritance, and an implacable enmity arose between the two brothers. While the elder brother was in prison in Spandau, the younger had taken possession of the rigsgrevskab, but had to withdraw when Chr. Ditlev in 1719 got out of prison and in the lead of a group of mercenaries conquered it. Shortly after was Chr. Ditlev shot during a snipe shooting on 10. November 1721 near Elmshorn, and five years later the younger brother was convicted of the murder. He insisted that he was innocent but was sentenced to life in prison, when the murderer claimed to have done it on grev Wilhelm's order. With these two brothers the Rantzau-line, which during five generations had a dominating place in the hertugdømmernes adel (duchy-nobility) , died out.

After these events grevskabet Løvenholm came to the Crown, which in 1732 transferred it to grev Frederik Christian Danneskiold-Samsøe, greve of Samsøe, friherre of Lindenborg and first director of Gisselfeld kloster (1722-78). He was then only 10 years old and had as a guardian his paternal uncle grev Frederik Danneskiold-Samsøe. In 1739 he was allowed to sell Skovgård and in 1742 to abolish grevskabet and to sell the other farms. Løvenholm was bought by his brother grev Ulrik Adolph Danneskiold-Samsøe, who 30. April 1751 obtained royal koncession, which meant that Løvenholm was still called grevskab, until it in 1828 was taken over by the state for unpaid taxes.

Løvenholm , Lindeallé

Løvenholm was in 1751 bought by Søren Seidelin, who two years later sold it to Niels Basse of Hindsgavl. In 1756 he transferred the farm to his son-in-law, kancelliråd Hans Fønss (1721-91), who in 1783 sold it to his son Peter Severin Fønns (1764-1824), who owned the farm until 1811. While Løvenholm most of the time had been uninhabited in Rantzau's and Danneskiold-Samsøe's days, it now became a home for the family Fønss. The farm was very dilapidated, but it is today still marked by what father and son had achieved. In 1785 Løvenholm was re-valued since the buildings were much improved. Around the renovated farm were made large plantings. To the north was a lime avenue from the farm-buildings to the bridge across the moat. In the forest on the other side of the meadow, which was once a lake, was built an elegant little tea-pavillon with a pyramid-roof.

When an old man Hans Fønss sold Løvenholm to his son Peter Severin Fønss for 74.000 rigsdaler. Peter Fønss was an enterprising man, he was a jurist and had several important offices, also at the military. He was enobled in 1801 and in 1804 appointed kammerherre (chamberlain). In 1804 he sold the farm-addition Sorvad and during the following years he sold a great part of the peasant-estate, the main farm was divided into parcels, however he was not able to sell many. In 1811 he conveyed what was left to an interessentskab (partnership),which in 1817 sold it to etatsråd H.J.Hansen of Bramstrup for 180.000 rigsbankdaler, but after ten years he had to hand it over to Statskassen (Exchequer) for unpaid taxes.

In 1831 the privileges as greve and birkeretten (judicial rights) had disappeared and the estate was much smaller than in the 18th century. Statskassen sold farm and estate to etatsråd H.R. Såbye's heirs and captain Krøyer for 16.465 rigsbankdaler silver. In 1833 sold to H. Frellsen from Flensborg. In 1836 sold to lessee Christen Pind (+1855) of Gammel Estrup for 40.000 rigsbankdaler. In his time the farm-buildings burnt down and the - until a few years ago still preserved - beautiful bricked buildings were built. After him his widow Laura Faith, until it in 1874 was sold to konsul Lauritz Ulrik la Cour, who in 1887 sold to hofjægermester Carl August Johan Neergaard. He died in 1901, and the estate was in a compulsory sale sold to etatsråd N.P Bornholdt from Riga for 370.000 kroner. Bornholdt saw to have the main building repaired, and there were great advances in the farm-management. In 1918 it was sold to hofjægermester Ove Holger Christian Vind of Bækkeskov and Sanderumgaard for 2.250.000 kroner. He increased the forest-areas and sold in 1919 the estate for 1.950.000 kr. to hofjægermester, greve Werner Ernst Carl Schimmelmann (+1941) of Lindenborg and Dronninglund.

In 1929 Løvenholm was put on a compulsory sale and sold for 773.000 kr. to godsejer Valdemar Uttental, owner of Gammel Estrup skovgods. The old farm was now the center in a very large estate. In the widespread estate were since 1939 carried out large improvements and reforms, also the churches in Gjesing and Nørager were renovated. The garden was re-arranged and the long lime avenue was extended with a chestnut avenue, which leads across the meadow to the pavillon. Hofjægermester Uttental, who was married to a daughter of the last lensgreve Scheel at Gammel Estrup, was childless and established in 1947 the Løvenholm-fund, which after his death in 1951 became the owner of Løvenholm.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd,. 14, Djursland, af bibliotekar ca.mag.Ejler Haugsted, 1967.

Today: Løvenholm is now used for education and research inside farming and foresting.

foto Løvenholm 2003/2006: grethe bachmann

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Høgholm/Høegholm, Djursland, East Jutland, Randers amt.

Høgholm/Høegholm, ab. 14 km southwest of Grenå
Tirstrup sogn, Djursland Sønder herred, Randers amt.

Høgholm's original name was Bjørnholm, but when Iver Juul Høeg in 1681 founded the barony Høgholm, it got this name, while the present farm Bjørnholm in the same parish was established in 1806 after the break down of the barony.

From the 14th. century Bjørnholm belonged to the family Hvide, and in 1331 it was owned by hr. Stig Andersen Hvide. Skjalm Hvide's family actually never used this family-name; the Stig-sons' family used it probably shortly before the family died out in the 16th century. It is only on the maternal side that the Stig-sons are related to Skjalm Hvide's family. Marsk Stig Andersens two first wives were probably of the Hvide-family ( also third wife) *; he neither used the name or the coat of arms, the seven-pointed star in his shield. There are no informations if he also owned Bjørnholm, but his son ridder Anders Stigsen of Tygestrup (Kongsdal) owned the farm and after him his son Stig Andersen Hvide (the Young) had inherited Bjørnholm and Tygestrup; he was named after his famous paternal grandfather marsk Stig, who according to tradition killed king Erik Klipping. When Christoffer II in 1320 became king, the family of the marsk could return to their homeland, and the superior of the family Stig Andersen Hvide the Young took again possession of a great part of the family-estate. Upon Djursland he built in the following years the castle Bjørnholm, maybe in the place where the present Høgholm is situated; but in the garden of a farm Obdrupgård in the neighbouring parish, which in the 15th century was a farm-building of Bjørnholm, is a castle bank, a circular bank, which is 6 m high and 20 m diameter; it is surrounded by a moat, around which is a circular dike.

*Marsk Stig's three marriages: 1) Ossa Nielsdatter, who was a son's daughter's daughter-daughter of Skjalm Hvide's son's son Toke Ebbesen; 2) Ingeborg Palnesdatter (Little); 3) and a daughter NN of the drost hr. Offe Nielsen Neb, whose maternal grandmother's paternal grandfather was Skjalm Hvide's son's son Sune Ebbesen, whose father was Ebbe Skjalmsen (+ 1150) who is the ancestor of the family Galen. (see blog Medieval Danish Families; Forfædrelinie III)

Stig Andersen Hvide the Young led the Jutland nobility's rebellion against the royal power from Bjørnholm. In 1331 he was grev Gert's (the bald greve) marsk and belonged like hr. Niels Bugge of Hald to the leaders inside the Jutland nobility. After the murder of grev Gert, Stig Andersen went to king Valdemar's party and became governor in Estland for a period, but when king Valdemar in the 1350s began his large reduction of the estate, which during the turbulent years in Denmark had slipped from the Crown, the friendship ended between the two men; Valdemar took from Stig Andersen a great part of the estate he had got from grev Gert, and even though ridder Stig might not have participated in the great revolt against the king in 1357, he broke with him in 1359, after his son and brother had been killed together with Niels Bugge in Middelfart in January 1359. The king was under suspicion of having ordered the killings. Also during the 1360s Stig Andersen fought against the royal power.

In 1362 he decided that Bjørnholm should go to his murdered son hr. Ove Stigsen's two sons Jens and Anders Ovesen. Jens Ovesen had married successfully; he was married to drost Claus Limbeks daughter Elisabeth; they had one half of the farm after Stig Andersen's death in 1369; the other half went to hr. Anders Ovesen ( + ab.1420), and since his son Ove Andersen died unmarried, his mother fru Else Krognos, brought her part of Bjørnholm to her second husband, rigshofmester Otte Nielsen Rosenkrantz. Bjørnholm became his main estate; he gradually outbought several of the many co-owners. In 1441 he bought a part from hr. Ove Tagesen Reventlow, and in 1445 Christoffer af Bayern gave him a part, which had belonged to the executed Henrik Tagesen Reventlow. In 1444 and 1468 he bought hr. Mogens Ebbesen Galt's and Holger Munk's parts, which they had got via their mother-in-law Inger Andersdatter Hvide. In 1459 he outbought Anders Ebbesen Galt and the same year Chr. I gave him judicial rights at Bjørnholm.

Otte Nielsen Rosenkrantz was for some years a vasal at the nearby castle Kalø. After 1448 he was a rigshofmester and participated in important political actions. In the late 1460s he retired from politics and died probably in 1477. After him his son hr. Erik Ottesen Rosenkrantz was the owner of Bjørnholm. He was rigshofmester and later rigsråd. He was a great collector of estate, in a document from 1499 is written that he owned 800 peasant-farms. He outbought several part-owners of Bjørnholm and died in 1503. After him came his son Niels Eriksen Rosenkrantz (+ 1516), his sons Henrik Nielsen Rosenkrantz (+ 1537) and Christoffer Nielsen Rosenkrantz ( + 1561), they were both unmarried, so from 1561 the farm was again divided into several parts; the following period the owners were various Danish noble families:Krabbe, Thott, Skram and again Krabbe, who on the maternal side descended from the Rosenkrantz´,who got the largest part of the estate. In 1612 Bjørnholm was laid out to creditors. Among the new part-owners were Hans and Iver Dyre and Jørgen Kruse, who sold to fru Ellen Rostrup, whose part in 1627 went to Abel Bryske.

Just Høg (Banner) is already in 1614 written to Bjørnholm, and he gathered the farm again. After his death in 1649 Bjørnholm went to his son Erik Høg (+ 1673) and then to his son Iver Juul Høg (+ 1683), who in 1681 was allowed to establish the barony Høgholm from the three farms/manors Bjørnholm, Fævejle and Lykkesholm. The farm then got its present name Høgholm. His widow fru Helle Trolle, who was married the second time to Palle Krag of Katholm, kept - after her unmarried son baron Niels Trolle Høg's death in 1700 - the barony until her death in 1722; after this it came to lensgreve Christian Danneskiold-Samsøe, the great book collector. After him Høgholm went to his son Frederik Christian Danneskiold-Samsøe, but he had at last to sell his estates, among others the grevskaber (counties) Samsøe and Løvenholm and the baronies Høgholm and Lindenborg. The barony Høgholm was abolished 1748. From 1754 one owner followed the other. In 1805 it was sold to the wellknown godsslagter (estate-slaughter) generalkrigskommissær Poul Marcussen of Krastrup, who sold the estate and was allowed to do outparcelling of the land of the main-farm. Various owners. Owner from 1950 Kay Schmidt.

In 1763 is told that the buildings were half-timbered, but earlier was inside the overgrown moats a large, brick-building in two storeys with towers and spires. In 1788 Pauline Sehested let Anders Kruuse build a new main building in two storeys above cellar. The present main building from 1888-89 is probably of the same size although it has only one storey above the cellar, and it is possibly only a radical re-build of Kruuse's house in neo-Gothic style. Some old half-timbered farm-buildings are preserved.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 14, Djursland, Høgholm, af lektor, cand. mag. fru Elin Bach.

foto Høgholm 2009: grethe bachmann

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Møllerup, Djursland, East Jutland, Randers amt

Møllerup, ab. 12 km northwest of Ebeltoft
Feldballe parish, Djurs Sønder herred, Randers amt.

Møllerup is the scene of the meeting between marsk Stig and his wife in the famous Marsk Stig-song, where he after the regicide in Finderup rides to Skanderborg, where the king's son the young hertug Christoffer cries to him "that he has to leave the country if I'll be the king". The documents about the first owner of Møllerup tells about hr. Stig Andersen, the marsk of the Danish kingdom. Under the present main building are foundations of a castle, which might be built by hr. Stig or might be even earlier.

In 1920 the remains of the medieval Møllerup were brought to light during the rebuild-works of landowner Poul Carl. Both under the floor in the main building and under the pavement in the yard were remains of granite-foundations and monk-brick-walls. The National Museum led in 1920-21 a systematic excavation, which the landowner paid. It showed that the medieval plan had three wings, a main wing to the south and two short side wings to the east and west. The east wing was the best preserved section; remains of all four walls are still under ground ; it shows that it was a free-standing building. The south wing has only kept few foundations, and in the cellar is seen a piece of the granite boulder foundation.

The wall work in Møllerup's parish church in Feldballe, which was built in the first half of the 13th century, is very similar to the preserved wall work at Møllerup; it is the same long, but narrow monk brick from the late Romanesque period, which is used in both places. The walls which were brought to light migh be the castle where marsk Stig met his wife, fru Ingeborg. Stig Andersen was one of the leaders of the Danish magnates and he owned much estate; in Jutland he had besides Møllerup also Bjørnholm and Hjelm, at Funen Eskebjerg ( now Scheelenborg) and at Sjælland Tygestrup (now Kongsdal). In 1275 he was rigens marsk and leader of a war expedition to Sweden; he joined the opponents of king Erik Klipping and was outlawed after the regicide in Finderup 1286 although he proved his aliby. In 1290 he built at castle at Hjelm (small island east of Djursland), where he died in 1293. He was married thrice, his second wife was Ingeborg Pallesdatter Little.

rigens marsk (rigsmarsk):
Number 3 leader next to the king, he was first army commander, appointed by the king and had to be a nobleman.

In the agreement at Hindsgavl in 1295 Erik Menved had to give back the confiscated estate to the outlaws or their heirs. A son of marsk Stig, hr. Anders Stigsen got Møllerup, Bjørnsholm etc. He confirmed in 1304 a letter, which his father had issued in 1287, where he secured the Århus-canons their estate at the Skramsholm-area. In 1313 he joined the peasant-revolt and had - after it had been subdued - to go into exile in Sweden; his estate was confiscated; not until Christoffer II's accession he returned caused by the decisions of coronation charter. His son Stig Andersen, the younger marsk Stig, who inherited Møllerup, Bjørnholm and Tygestrup after his father, played a very prominent role in the days of the Holstein-power and Valdemar Atterdag. Valdemar Atterdag appointed him his marsk and entrusted him the important task to lead the transfer of Estonia to sværdridderne (Livonian Brothers of the Sword), and in 1352 he was one of four regents in the king's absence. But then it happened that five parishes in Galten herred, which was given to him by grev Gert, was taken from him by the Crown. Therefore he broke with the king and was the rest of his life one of the leaders of the displeased and rebellious Jutland magnates. When his son Ove Stigsen was murdered together with hr. Niels Bugge of Hald at Middelfart 1359, Møllerup and Bjørnholm went at his death in 1369 to his son's son Anders Ovesen, who became the last man of marsk Stig's family at Møllerup.

Anders Ovesen lived a more peaceful life than his forefathers and died before 1426. This year his widow fru Else Holgersdatter Krognos got married to rigshofmester hr. Otte Nielsen Rosenkrantz, to whom she brought Bjørnholm. Møllerup went to her daughter Inger, who was married to rigsråd hr. Jacob Flemming (+ 1457). Anders Jacobsen Flemming left the farm to his daughter Inger, who was alive in 1525 and widow after Oluf Jensen Skovgård, after whom Møllerup came to her sister's daughter Magdalene Emmiksen, who was married to Albert Maltesen Viffert, who still lived in 1585. The two upper pews with their coat of arms in Feldballe kirke were put up by this married couple. Their son Christen Albertsen Viffert had taken part in the Seven Year's War and had in the battle of Axtorna conquered a banner, which was hung in Feldballe kirke; it has now disappeared, but the church still owns a chalice and a desk with his and his wife fru Anna Tidemand's coat of arms.

After hr. Christens death in 1592 Møllerup came by will to two brothers Herman og Hartvig Kaas of the Mur-Kaas-family. Hartvig was married to a daughter of Axel Juul of Villestrup. The married couple lived at Møllerup and gave Feldballe church the pulpit, the later badly treated altar piece and a magnificent altar candelabre; their gravestone with life-size relief pictures is in the north wall of the choir in a beautifully carved oak-wood-frame. After the childless Hartvig Kaas' death in 1649 Møllerup went to his son-in-law Predbjørn Gyldenstierne of Damsgaard. His son Knud Gyldenstierne, who is described as a stately and handsome man and a head taller than most people, was in 1680 engaged to Elisabeth Rosenkrantz (1657-1721), who was a daughter of Erik Rosenkrantz of Rosenholm and Vosnæsgård and was brought up at Gammel Estrup by Christen Skeel the Rich. He would not bring this posh bride home to the medieval house at Møllerup; he let it break down in 1681 and let build the present Møllerup upon its place. In 1682 the wedding was celebrated, but he died already the same year, only 30 years of age. He had ordered not to make too much fuss of his funeral and that all arrears of his peasants had to be forgiven.

In 1683 fru Elisabeth gave birth to a daughter Hilleborg, and she managed farm and estate on her behalf. The estate included 28 farms, of which one half was in Feldballe parish and the other half in Agri, Bregnet and Thorsager parish. Fru Elisabeth married the second time in 1695 to general Joachim Schack of Sneumgård, but when he died in 1700, she returned to Møllerup, where she stayed for the rest of her life. She is described as an authoritative, energetic and pious woman. She kept each holyday evening song and gave lessons to her household about spiritual things, and she was very charitable. The old school in Feldballe, which still is situated at the church yard left of the gate, was built by her, and she saw to that the teacher here and in Nødager parish received their salary. While she lived at Møllerup were made large building activities. In the year 1709 an incendiary put fire to the farm building, which burnt completely down, and the main building was saved only with great difficulty. The perpetrator was caught end executed. A new stable- and farm building was built . A public road divides the stable-building from the farm-buildings.

When Hilleborg Gyldenstierne (+ 1734) was adult, she married major Christian Trolle of Ryegård (+ 1709). It seems that she mostly stayed on her husband's farm at Sjælland. Her son kammerherre Knud Trolle (+ 1760), who with his wife Birgitte Restorff got Broksø and Holmegård at Sjælland, built in 1743 the east wing of the main building in half-timbered oak. Above the present entrance-door of the main building is a sandstone-tablet with the name and coat of arms of this couple and an inscription in Danish which says that this house was built in 1751. Knud Trolle let face-wall the main wing's half-timbered facades. This made the building look like a new house, a palace of yellow bricks. Since the couple was childless they decided that when the longest living had died, the farm and estate should go to the lord of Rosenholm Frederik Christian Rosenkrantz, who bought the other heir major Peter Lassen von Post's part of both farms, but already in 1796 he sold them on auction.

Møllerup was bought for 70.000 rigsdaler by birkedommer Morten Leemeyer and landvæsenskommissær Rasmus Müller. He, who already the same year outbought his partner, transferred in 1799 Møllerup to birkedommer Erik Christian Müller, who was a son of an alderman in Århus. He owned for a period several other manors, i.e. Mariager kloster. At his death in 1827 his estate was insolvent. The farm was sold at auction to Rasmus Schmidt from Skæring Munkegård. He sold it in 1863 to greve Frederik Ahlefeldt-Laurvig (1834-88), who showed a considerable building-activity and gave the farm its look which it kept until 1920. Grevinde Louise Ahlefeldt, née de Neergaard, outlived her husband for 12 years ; after her death in 1900 her son cand polit. greve Frederik Wilhelm Ahlefeldt-Laurvig (+ 1929) became the owner of Møllerup, which he sold in 1915 for 485.000 kroner to his lessee Christian Wester, who sold it in 1918 to skibsreder (ship owner) V. Müller for 1.300.000 kroner. He sold the farm in 1920.

The new owner was skibsreder Poul Carl (+ 1939). During two years he renovated Møllerup. The old decayed manor was in its new look a stately mansion, mirroring in the clear water of the moats. The interior was completely changed. In 1921 was added the farm Eriksminde, which is situated east of the garden and earlier had belonged to Møllerup. In 1936 the cattle-stable was rebuilt and modernized. In 1941 was added several boxes in the horse-stable, and both stable-buildings got red tile-roofs. In 1918 was built a forester's house. After landowner Poul Carl's death in 1939 fru Kiss Carl took over Møllerup, where she during many years run a well-known stud farm. She handed over the manor to her daughter's son greve Flemming Lüttichau in 1967. And he handed over Møllerup to his daughter and son-in-law, Anne Sophie and Stig Gamborg in 2002.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 14, Djursland, Møllerup af bibliotekar, cand.mag. Ejler Haugsted.

Møllerup i dag
In 1969 the inspector-house was rebuilt into an inn. In 2004 the building was renovated and is rented to parties and holiday-guests. See Hubertus Kroen.

Guided tours can be arranged.

photo Møllerup 2003: grethe bachmann

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Aunsbjerg, Mid Jutland, Viborg amt.

Aunsbjerg, entrance with gate-building.

Aunsbjerg, ab.12 km south of Viborg
Sjørslev sogn, Lysgård herred, Viborg amt.

Steen Steensen Blicher wrote "Skytten på Aunsbjerg", about the French nobleman, who died alone and abandoned out in the heath. In his childhood Blicher often stayed at Aunsbjerg by his great-uncle etatsråd de Steensen and wife, a sour old great-aunt, who told little Steen that his will was in her pockets.

Aunsbjerg is an old farm, mentioned for the first time in king Oluf's rule, when it belonged to Niels Eriksen of the family, who in the first half of the 16th century - when it was dying out - took the name Løvenbalk after its coat of arms. The family Løvenbalk, who for more than 150 år owned Aunsbjerg, was said to have royal blood in their veins and to descend from Christoffer II and a lady of the family Lunge, and the blue lion in the family's coat of arms indicates that it is a probability. It fits in with that Niels Eriksen's father 's name was Erik Christoffersen and that he owned Aunsbjerg in 1340.

Niels Eriksen was married to a daughter of the knight Johan Rantzau, Sophie Johansdatter Rantzau. They only had one child, the son Jens Nielsen (Løvenbalk), who was the next owner of Aunsbjerg. He became landsdommer in Nørrejylland and rigsråd and was known for his killing Jens Jensen (Brock) of Clausholm. He died very old ab. 1438 and left a large family , of whom a son became the ancestor of the Løvenbalks at Tjele, another, Erik Jensen, became the owner of Aunsbjerg, which then for a long time belonged to his sons, Peter, who died early and hr. Erik Eriksen (Løvenbalk), who later became the sole owner of Aunsbjerg and still lived at the end of the century, but must have died soon after. The economic deroute of the family begun with him. He had pawned a part of his estate to Niels Clementsen, and after his death his son Gert Eriksen (Løvenbalk) and four daughters continued these pawnings, which became deeds of conveyance. During the years 1509-12 Niels Clementsen was handed over two thirds of Aunsbjerg as his property and much adjoining estate; the last third went to hr. Predbjørn Podebusk of Vosborg. There were troubled times at Aunsbjerg.

Aunsbjerg, en skam at en smuk gammel bygning gemmer sig så godt!

Niels Clementsen is one of the most enigmatic personalities of that time. He was sometimes described as a noble man, and sometimes as a not free man: king Hans entrusted him with important vasalries, made him landsdommer in Nørrejylland and rigsråd, and Christian II gave him the important Aalborghus vasalry; but soon after his death in 1518 his considerable estate was impounded by the Crown; a large part was shortly after given back to his heirs, but his part of Aunsbjerg became a royal vasalry. One of Niels Clementsen's sons was Rasmus Clementsen, a raw and brutal man. He was married to a daughter of Mogens Kaas of Damsgaard, who achieved fame when Christian II after his death had his body digged up and hung in a gallow. He died in 1529 and his widow survived him for some years. After this Aunsbjerg again experienced some troubled conditions.

Rigshofmester Mogens Gjøe bought some parts of the farm, and after his death in 1544 his heirs became the owners of farm and estate, which was taken over by the son Christoffer Gjøe, who became unpopular, when he tried to invalidate the foundation Herlufsholm, which his sister Birgitte Gjøe and her husband Herluf Trolle had founded. There was a dairy at Aunsbjerg while he was the owner, where cheese of all kinds were produced. It seems that the sheep were taken good care of. Both Danish and English wool is mentioned. Furthermore were turkeys at the farm, which was a rarity at that time. There are detailled informations about all this and much more in Christoffer Gjøe's and his wife Birgitte Bølle's correspondence. When Mogens Gjøe was the owner, Aunsbjerg was an important farm. Two water mills and several houses and 53 peasant-farms belonged to the estate. Christoffer Gjøe increased the estate, partly with property far away. After his death in 1584 his widow kept the farm, where she died in 1595. They left no children.

The next wellknown owner was Peder Marsvin. He was a son of Jørgen Marsvin of Hollufgård and Karen Ottesdatter Gyldenstierne, and a sister-daughter's son of Christoffer Gjøe. Peder Marsvin was very young, when he inherited Aunsbjerg (born 1578) and an orphant. He had inherited the newly built, magnificent Hollufgård at Odense after his parents. He was married to Mette Axelsdatter Brahe; he participated in the Kalmarkrigen and died already in 1614, a half year after his last child was born at Aunsbjerg. When his widow followed him to the grave eight years later, her only surviving son Jørgen Marsvin inherited the farm; he was still a child (born in 1609). He established in 1654 a small main farm Marsvinslund on the other side of the forest, and in Sjørslev and Vium churches are memories about him and his wife Anne Helvig Gyldenstierne. Jørgen Marsvin died 1671 and his wife about 20 years later in Øster Han herred at Ålegård, which she had bought after her husband's death, but before this they had lost all their manors.

In 1655 was Aunsbjerg and Marsvinslund sold to rigsmarsk hr. Anders Bille of Damsbo, who handed them over to his son Erik Bille, who died the next year. His widow Mette Rosenkrantz, who after this was married to hr. Niels Krabbe of Skellinge for some years, sold in 1669 both farms to Christoffer Ulfeldt of Alslevgård, but when he died in 1670, his widow Sophie Amalie Ottesdatter Krag (+ 1710) brought it in her second marriage to grev Otto Rantzau of Rosenvold. In his time the estate was well collected; to Aunsbjerg belonged in 1688 28 farms and 14 houses in Sjørslev and Vium parish and farms in Hørup. He died a very rich man in 1719, whereafter the two farms went to his son baron Otto Rantzau, who in 1732 sold them to Steen Jørgensen; and with this they disappeared from the hands of the old nobility.

Steen Jørgensen had been a lessee at various Funen manors and was 55 years old, when he moved to Aunsbjerg with his family. He was a widower since 1722, but the year after he had married Marie Katrine Balslev, who died in 1744 after having born 5 sons and 5 daughters. One son inherited Aunsbjerg, another became landsdommer in Nørrejylland and the most wellknown became a general in Russian service. 4 daughters were married to priests. Steen Jørgensen sold Marsvinslund to a former lessee of Aunsbjerg. He died in 1754, but two years before he had handed over Aunsbjerg with all estate for 30.000 rigsdaler to his eldest son Steen Steensen. He was according to Blicher a friendly man, but not a simple man like his father. He was appointed kancelliråd already before his father's death; in 1760 he was enobled and got the name de Steensen; in 1774 he became etatsråd. After a marriage to jomfru Moldrup (not from the noble family) in which they had a child who died, he married in 1759 frøken Mette Elisabeth Schinkel, an old maid of about 50 years and a sister of the mad kammerherre at Hald. She was this great-aunt of St.St. Blicher, who taught him to say that his will was in her pocket, while the boy in return teased her dog Manille.

Steensen introduced several necessary improvements. He improved the meadows, he laid out roads through the fields, partly with avenue-trees, at the farm he planted hop and in the forest he planted young trees. And he continued the started plan of a beautiful garden in French style, which Blicher later complained was declining. In his old age he several times put in vain the large estate for auction. In 1793 he succeeded in selling it and moved with his wife to a parcel-farm Liselund, he had established in the western outskirts of the forest, where he lived his last days in quiet and sometimes had visits from the poet, who was named after him. He died in 1800, she died the year after. They are buried in a hill at Sjørslev church yard together with his father and other family members.

See Sjørslev kirke

Aunsbjerg in summer!

Aunsbjerg went in 1793 to Hans Amnitzbøll, who earlier had owned Holbækgård. He was the last, who owned the whole estate. After 5 years he and birkedommer Erik Christian Müller of Møllerup, who owned a part of the farm, sold Aunsbjerg and all estate for 106.000 rigsdaler to a consortium, which began dividing the property, and in 1802 its fate was totally sealed, when it was sold to generalauditør Hans Jacob Lindahl, who was one of that period's most eager manor-slaughters. During about 20 years he mutilated a manor almost each year. In 1805 he had come so far that he could sell the remaining main parcel, but this business and several later were broken off. Still at the time of his death he was the real owner of the farm. Not until several years after Lindahl's death his widow Maren Svinth (who owned Vestervig kloster) succeeded in selling Aunsbjerg's main parcel and Sjørslev church to Laurids Christian Djørup, who was a skilled farmer.

Djørup sold Aunsbjerg in 1832. After this it came to various owners, until Peter Christopher de Neergaard bought it in 1853 for 116.500 rigsbankdaler. He was a son of Peter Johansen de Neergaard of Gunderslevholm and several other manors; he was a skilled farmer and built a part of the farm buildings. He was in 1842 married to Ida de Neergaard, née Laussen, who took over the farm when she was widowed in 1870. She also made some improvements, and the agriculture of Aunsbjerg was up-to-date, when her two youngest sons Harald and Peter Johansen de Neergaard at her death in 1907 took over. The last mentioned was later the sole owner.


Aunsbjerg was in its first beginning built close to the moor, which is not visible today. The pretty gate building is the remains of the farm buildings, which burnt down in 1911, and a fine old lime avenue leads up to the castle yard, which is shielded by forest to the east and west. The farm has existed here on the same place from time immemorial upon a castle bank, which bears witness about the Middle Ages; it consists of two islets, surrounded by moats, partly water-filled. The northernest of the islets was the place of the castle in the Løvenbalk-family's time, and still earlier it might have been placed a few hundred meters to the west where is an overgrown earth-plan, which looks like a castle bank. It seems already from the early Middle Ages that it was only the southern islet, which was used for building, here was for a long time a castle- and farm-building.

Nothing is known for sure about Aunsbjergs older main building. During a thorough restoration of the building in 1897 a new pediment was put up. When de Neergard took it over in 1853 he wanted an addition, a guest-wing. The new house was built in the years 1917-18 in red monk bricks partly upon old foundations. The dining hall in the old building was decorated with among other things the coat of arms and names of the owners of Aunsbjerg upon the dark oak-beams; there are a couple of pretty iron-oven from Steensen's time with the years 1758 and 1776. In the dining hall is a fire place, where was used some relief-carved sandstones, where a piece with the names and coats of arms of Peder Marsvin and Mette Brahe from the beginning of the 17th century earlier had been placed above the entrance-door.

In 1921 a tramp put the farm building on fire, and in 1925 the inspector-building burnt down, but both the buildings were re-built, and Peter Johansen de Neergaard owned Aunsbjerg till his death in 1940; it was taken over by his daughter fru Bodil Vibeke Preetzmann and her husband, J. Preetzmann. Owner today: the grandson Holger Preetzmann.

photo Aunsbjerg 2005/2006: grethe bachmann

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stenalt Manor, East Jutland, Randers amt.

Stenalt Manor, ab. 10 km east of Randers.
Ørsted parish, Rougsø herred, Randers amt.

The manor Stenalt is situated in a landscape bordered by Randers fjord and Kattegat, and area which is almost like an island. The farm is mentioned early in the Middle Ages, where the owners in a large part of this period was the family Bjørn. The present main building in Italian Palladian style looks alien in the flat green landscape and reveals nothing about the old age of the farm.

The medieval Stenalt (Stenholt) was placed about 1.400 m east of the present farm in a low and swampy terrain north of the so-called Tangkær and not far from the village Ørsted. In Pont. Danske Atlas is the place mentioned as "some estate outside the farm placed at Ørsted field." The oldest known owner was Bo Leigel, who in 1375 sold the farm to Jens Mus, whose sons Laurits and Strange inherited the farm; the last mentioned later handed all his inheritance over to his brother. In 1433 Laurits Mus had his ownership confirmed by Erik of Pommern in a låsebrev (letter). In Ørsted church was earlier a portrait grave stone from 1436 of Laurits Mus and his wife Mette Rosenkrantz.

Since Laurits Mus had left no sons, Stenalt came with his daughter Anne (+ 1480) to Anders Jakobsen Bjørn (+1490) from the famous Hvide-family. Anders Bjørn had a feud with the owner of the neighbouring estate Gammel Estrup about harvesting on meadows and fishing in Gudom (Randers) fjord. His and his wife's broken portrait gravestone is in Ørsted Church. His son Bjørn Andersen, who was married to Anna Friis and known from the murder of Poul Laxmand, continued the feuds about the rights of the meadow-harvesting and fishing in Randers fjord. In 1494 king Hans gave him both rights, but in spite of this decision the feud continued in the future. After Bjørn Andersen's death his sons Henrik and Anders Bjørnsen became the owners of Stenalt, the first mentioned, who was unmarried, had it for a short time only. Anders Bjørnsen, whose wife was Anna Gjordsdatter Drefeld, died ab. 1550; their son Bjørn Andersen the Younger (+ 1532) became the most famous and important man of the family, he had many distinguished offices and was the owner of a large estate, like the old Vitskøl kloster, which he rebuilt and gave the name Bjørnsholm. He was married twice, first time to Sidsel Ulfstand (+ 1556), second time to Karen Friis. Bjørn Andersen died in 1583 and was buried in Værum church. The stone in Ørsted church with a relief of him and his two wives must be considered a memorial stone. It was surely Bjørn Andersen, who built the old, now disappeared main building. It had three wings in two storeys, a chapel and was surrounded by broad moats. A pole-bridge led across the moats and via a gate-vault people came into the stable-yard and from there into the castle yard. Above the castle-gate was a stone with Bjørn Andersen, Karen Friis and Sidsel Ulfstand's names and coat of arms. The farm building was placed outside the moats. The widow Karen Friis probably continued the building-works, ; in 1587 the king ordered to bring her 200 Gotland beams.

The son of first marriage Jakob Bjørn inherited Stenalt after his father's death. He was a widely travelled and learned man, but possibly not as learned as his wife Anne Krabbe (+ 1618) , a daughter of Erik Krabbe of Bustrup and wife, Margarethe Reventlow of Søbo. When Jakob Bjørn died childless already in 1596 (in 1598 his wife put a stone on his grave in Ørsted church) Anna lived alone 22 years at Stenalt, which she probably made great efforts to embellish. She placed in the garden a runestone from a nearby hill, and here saw Ole Worm it the same year, in which the learned noble lady died. Worm made his notes about the inscription on the stone; later the stone disappeared again, but in 1913 a large piece was found in a stony ditch at the farm Christianslund; the stone was placed in the park upon a lawn in front of the main building; it is from the Viking Period, and the inscription says:" Asser Stufs raised this stone after his son Broder." From the nearby demolished Essenbæk kloster the learned noble lady, who collected antiquities, bought two granite pillars, which she let bring to Stenalt and equip with the letters F.A.K. (Fru Anne Krabbe) and the year 1580. The pillars came later to Randers where they were placed in Tøjhushaven. In her art chamber at the farm Anna Krabbe had among other things kept Chr. I.'s rejsealter (altar to bring on travels). It is now at the National Museum.

Ørsted church was magnificently furnished by Anna Krabbe, who besides several other things gave the very pretty pews, of which especially the richly carved manor pews from 1607 are special with pictures of the giver and her late husband in the fields. In 1613 she decorated the altar with a painted panel, upon which is a picture of the Holy Communion and in the frame the paternal and maternal coat of arms of Anna Krabbe and Jakob Bjørn. After Anna Krabbe's death in 1618 Stenalt was sold to Enevold Kruse of Hjermitslevgård etc., and after his death in 1621 hiw widow Else Marsvin stayed at the farm. In 1632 shortly before her death she gave a pretty wafer-box to Ørsted church. Her son's son Tyge Tygesen Kruse, became three years old the owner of Stenalt, which his mother Karen Sehested managed for him. In 1638 she let in Randers make an altar piece to Ørsted church for some money, which Else Marsvin owed to the church. Tyge Kruse died unmarried already in 1649, and his mother inherited Stenalt; she brought this estate to her second husband Jørgen Seefeld of Visborggård (+ 1666).

at Randers fjord

After him his son Christen Seefeld (* 1641), married to Lene Rosenkrantz, became the owner of Stenalt. Christen Seefeld bought kaldsret (rights) to Ørsted, Estruplund and Voer churches and built in 1678 a large, brick-built barn for the farm. In 1685 he gave an ore-chandelier to Ørsted church. His eldest son Mogens (+ 1739) took over the farm when underage, but already in 1713 it was conveyed to a brother-in-law Axel Bille of Ørumgård, married in 1704 to Sophie Seefeld of Stenalt. The family Bille was the owners until 1787, where Stenalt long before had been given to a son-in-law greve Frederik Christian Schack of Giesegård and other estate, who in 1786 made a contract on Stenalt with his son Preben Brahe Schack. The new owner broke down Bjørn Andersen's old interesting farm and built a new main building and lessee-building. He had been in Italy and had achieved a taste for the Palladian villa style. The building with its flat roof and slender windows in the upper storey seems foreign in the Danish surroundings.

At the same time as the building-work of the main building grev Schack established a beautiful garden, where a special sight is an old oak tree, about 5 m circumference. The garden was also marked by his stay in italy. He did not keep his estate for many years. In 1810 he conveyed the farm to merchant in Kristianssand, generalkrigskommissær Bern Holm. For the next almost 150 years Stenalt went from hand to hand, until it in 1939 was sold to Statens Jordlovsudvalg, who after an outparcelling sold the main parcel to lessee Erik Blach. In 1956 he sold the estate to landowner Axel Bie-Nielsen. He has since his taking over let the main building restore and modernized the farm-buildings.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 14, Djursland, 1967, Stenalt af museumsinspektør dr. phil. Otto Norn.

goats at Stenalt.

Stenalt today:
The about 700 year old estate, Stenalt, at Ørsted on North Djursland has 470 hectare farm land, 223 hectare forest and 50 hectare reeds. The whole concern was changed into ecology in 1998. Owners today: Arne Fremmich and Dorte Mette Jensen.
Stenalt Gods is today the base of an (for Denmark) untraditional livestock of 700 milking goats and ab. 450 kids. The milking goats are controlled , i.e. each goat's milking output is known. The goats deliver milk for goat's cheese, which is made at the ecological dairy Søvind at Horsens. Also goat's meat is sold, which is extremely healthy - and sausages and sliced cold meat. The goats are from the Swiss race Saanen.

photo Stenalt 2003: grethe bachmann

Monday, February 08, 2010

Vindum Overgård, Mid Jutland, Viborg amt

Vindum Overgård, ab. 12 km southeast of Viborg
Vindum sogn, Middelsom herred, Viborg amt.

There are traces of a noble main farm in Vindum far back in time. In 1482 fru Johanne Hansdatter Podebusk in Vindum, widow of væbner Mathias Nielsen, gave Skt. Hans Kloster in Viborg a mortgage deed on a farm in Pederstrup. Hans Mathiassen was undoubtedly a son of Mathias Nielsen and Johanne Podebusk. He is mentioned the last time in 1468, and from his children it seems that the daughter Mette Hansdater inherited the estate in Vindum. Her husband Hartvig Limbek is written to Vindum Overgaard in 1486 and 1490. Hartvig Limbek owned besides his estate in Vindum also Nebbegård; he seems to have been a very active man. He energetically intervened in unlawful felling in Vindum forest, and he closed the outflow of his water streamns that no one else could take his fish. Therefore he had in the aftertime a reputation of being an evil and stingy man, and this stinginess of course had its just cause. At his funeral it was not possible to bury his coffin in the earth, and first when they took him out of the coffin, they succeeded in having him buried. Hartvig Limbek died about 1518, but his widow Mette Hansdatter still lived in 1534, when she together with her son Claus Limbek sold Merringgård to Mogens Gjøe. Shortly after she must have died, for already in 1537 the first of several cases started between the heirs after Hartvig Limbek.

Vindum, field with Jutland horses.

One of the main persons in the feud was Jep Brun, married to a daughter's daughter of Hartvig Limbek. Shortly after his death Jep Brun had already moved to Vindum; around 1520 he participated in an exchange with bishop Erik Kaas, in which the heirs secured to get the vicarage in Vindum. In 1537 the king delivered judgment "that Jep Brun must enjoy, use and keep the main farm in Vindum, where he lives with all its estate until Jep Brun calls all Hartvig Limbek's and fru Mette's heirs to an exchange and since divides the estate rightfully." The exchange was made in 1545 and Jep Brun got the main farm in Vindum ,where he lived, with forest and besides four other farms in Vindum and some strøgods (spread estate). Another part of Vindum had via Hartvig Limbek's daugther Anna gone to Johan Bagge, who is mentioned in Vindum 1537 and 1543, their daughter Birgitte brought the farm to Mads Grøn, who for some reasons was not a part of the exchange in 1545. After Mads Grøn's death the main farm came to his son Iver Grøn, but it seems that he sold it to Agnete Friis, who wrote herself to V. in 1568. From her it seems that the farm came to her brother-in-law Mourids Brun, and the whole estate Vindum was in the ownership of the family Brun around 1600.

The result of these inheritance-feuds was that the family Brun owned the main farm Vindum and probably most of the farm-estate in the same village, and there is no doubt that Jep Brun is the real creator of the main farm. Still in 1537 Vindum village was situated in its old place, stretching from the church and eastwards. Closest to the church upon the place where Vindum Overgård is now situated, was the vicarage and the first main farm, where Jep Brun lived; the main farm was at that point hardly larger than the other farms in the village. In 1537-54 he moved Vindum village to about a half km south of the church where it is today, so that he was able to collect the earth around the main farm and take it out from the common village-unionship. After Jep Brun's death his son Mourids Brun inherited the farm, and at his death the son Hartvig Brun took over Vindum Overgård, while his brothers Mourids and Niels probably got Søgård in Vindum village and Vindum Nedergård. In 1626 Hartvig Brun bought his brothers' farms, but it seems it was too costy for him, already in 1629 he died in a big debt, and the heirs wanted to lay out Vindum main farm to the creditors. In the war 1629 the farm was completely destroyed, and the heirs were allowed to sell it. In 1632 Iver Christoffersen Lykke of Buderupholm bought the farm from Hartvig Brun's four children. He started to improve the very delapidated estate. His reconstruction of Vindum Overgård was interrupted by his death in 1648 and first his successor succeded in getting the farm on its feet again.

The next owner was rigsmarsk Anders Bille. He started to build a new Vindum Overgård, it is probable that a part of the carved granite boulders came from Faldborg church, which he was allowed to demolish. East of the church he built a farm-plan of three wings. The southern and northern wing still have his and his wife's names upon the western gable. A tower, which was placed at the southern wing, has disappeared. The present red main building is the southern wing of Anders Bille's plan, which shortly after his death was furnished into habitation.It was in one storey with corbiestep gables. It is connected to a side wing towards the garden. Anders Bille also built a three winged main building north of the church, but it was a half-timbered building.

at Tange sø

After Anders Billes death in 1657 Vindum Overgård was inherited by his daughter Elisa Bille, who was married to Jørgen Skeel of Broholm and Arreskov. At his death in 1696 the farm went to his four sons, of whom Anders Skeel out-bought the others in 1698, but already in 1700 he exchanged it with Mullerup to proviantskriver Christen L. Krarup (+ 1711). In the ownership of the family Skeel the farm came into a miserable state. In 1677 it was said that "the building was broken down except a small piece with a chimney. There were no horses or cattle, since the master only had one hired help". Christen Krarup lived at the farm in the short period he owned it. He sold it already in 1708 to major Janus de Friedenreich of Palstrup, and with this Vindum Overgård became a part of a large estate, which this very active landowner collected in Middelsom and Lysgård herred. After his death in 1755 the farm was in the ownership of his widow Anna Margrethe de Linde until her death in 1759, when it came to the son-in-law generalløjtnant Carl Gotfried Irminger.

He was born in Dresden in 1686 as the son of a goldsmith from Zürich. In 1709 he was in the Danish troups in English-Dutch service in Brabrant, and when the regiment returned to Denmark he followed and continued his military career in the Danish army, where he in 1758 became generalløjtnant. In 1723 he was married to Janus de Friedenreich's daughter Mette Dorothea, who after his death kept Vindum Overgård until 1779, when she together with her children conveyed it to kancelliråd Hans Eilersen Steenfeldt for 38.000 rigsdaler.

In 1787 a son of Hans Steenfeldt, Mathias, sold Vindum Overgård to Thomas Thomsen of Østergård. He sold V.O in 1794 to Jean Arnold Fischer of Allinggård. In 1804-06 V.O. was owned by captain Niels Secher of Trudsholm, and after him it came into the hands of two of that period's most wellknown "manor-slaughters", first generalkrigskommissær Johan Conrad Schuchard, who in 1815 got permission to outparcel the main farm - and after him in 1819 his stepson justitsråd Hans Jørgen Ring Fønss of Ørslev kloster. Those two sold all the farmer-estate and diminished the main farm with a very comprehensive outparcelling. From 1827 Vindum Overgård went from hand to hand, and first in 1868, when Herman J.C. Rendtorff became the owner, the many owner-changes ended, but in 1887 Vindum Overgård was sold on auction to mortgagee P.Jensen, and in 1900 the wellknown Randers-merchant Johan Martin Christoffer Ankerstjerne, one of that period's commercial prominent figures, became owner of Vindum Overgård. He sold it in 1912 to Heinrich C.J.H.Rømer-Bruhn, in whose time the main building was repaired and the farm-buildings burnt down in 1941. In 1943 Vindum Overgård was sold to Aage de Neergaard, who rebuilt the farm-buildings and renovated the main building, which got a conservatory with a terrace to the south.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 13, Midtjylland, 1966, Vindum Overgaard af Svend Engelund.

Vindum Overgård has a pretty situation 3 km north of Tange sø at Bjerringbro; it has an all-round plant-cultivation and special crops upon 330 hectare, which belongs to the farm today. Furthermore the farm carries out extern assignments in fieldwork and Christmas tree production. Vindum Overgård is owned by the same family of 3 generations. (de Neergaard).
Vindum Church lies as the 4th wing of the estate. In the old days the road crossed between the farm and the church. Vindum forest is about 500 m north of the estate.

photo Vindum Overgård 2003: grethe bachmann

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sønder Vissing church / Sønder Vissing kirke, Tyrsting herred, Skanderborg amt.

Sønder Vissing Church, ab. 12 km west of Skanderborg
Sønder Vissing sogn, Tyrsting herred, Skanderborg amt.

The church in Sønder Vissing has a Romanesque choir and nave with a late Gothic western tower and a porch to the south from the Renaissance-period. The Romanesque building, choir and nave, is built in raw granite boulder, travertine and hard pan. The round arched south door is kept, while the north door, which is flanked by half pillars, is bricked-up like a single window on the north side. Inside is the round choir arch with kragbånd. In the late Gothic period, ab. 1475 was in the choir built one, in the nave four cross vaults upon wall pillars, and at the same time the gable of the choir was re-walled in monk bricks to the east. In the beginning of the 1500s the slender tower was built to the west; it has a pyramid roof, probably from a main repair in 1795. The porch is built in large bricks, it is probably from the first half of the 1600s.

Upon the choir arch is an elegant late Gothic frescoe in winding leaves, while the vault has a simpler ornament. A picture of Sct. George and the dragon is kept, all frescoes are from the end of the 1400s. In the choir was in 1910 inserted a glass mosaic window. - The altar arrangement was made in 1911, and the earlier altar piece, a simple Renaissance work from ab. 1600 with a simple painting, hangs upon the choir wall. Late Gothic candelabres ab. 1550 . Very good, but terribly over-painted late Gothic choir arch- crucifix. A new granite font. The very small pulpit is a pretty work in high Renaissance from 1585. Abundant church ship "Neptun" a fregat, probably from the middle of the 1700s. A strange, probably Romanesque gravestone with a carved cross is placed at the church gate. Portrait stone in choir of Jens Nielsen of Vissingkloster (+ 1591) and his wife.

One of Denmark's most important runestones; Harald Bluetooth's wife, Tove Mistivojsdatter's runestone in Sdr. Vissing church

- Two runestones were found in the parish. One, a very large runestone, was in 1835 found as a side stone by the entrance of the church yard-dike, it is now placed inside the church below the organ. The inscription is: " Tove, Mistives datter, Harald den godes, Gorms søns kone, lod gøre disse kumler efter sin moder". ("Tove , Mistive's daughter, Harald the good's, Gorm's son's wife, let make these kumler after her mother.") The other stone lay as a treadstone in the entrance to the church yard; it is now placed in the porch.The inscription is: "Toke gjorde disse kumler efter sin fader Abe, en klog mand". ("Toke did these kumler after his father Abe, a wise man".)

Romanesque gravestone and runestone in porch

Sønder Vissing Church belonged in the Middle Ages to Voer kloster. Vissing kloster was established before 1249 by one of the bishops in the bishopric for nuns of the Benedictine-order, its history is not well known. Abel burnt down, before he became king, the nuns' town Gl. Vissing except the church, in the 1400s the kloster was abandoned. Its estate came partly to Voer kloster, possibly in an exchange with the Århus-bishop.

Klostertomten/The kloster site is found north of Pindsmølle upon a former peninsula which in east was bordered by Gudenå (river). In a lesser examination by the National museum in 1915 were found some demolished remains of a brick-wall upon a granite boulder foundation and two walled moats, one in boulder and one in monk bricks.

4 sacred wells are known in the parish; Fredskilde by the road to Rye, Frørs kilde upon the earlier school-site, one in the middle of the village and one by the country road in Addit forest.

In a digging at the vicarage's field were in 1898-1901 found 99 speciedalere, the youngest from Brunsvig-Lüneborg 1642.

Names in the Middle Ages: Sdr. Vissing (here? Saxo ab. 1200 vico Wisingo, 1200s Gamlæwisyng); Addit (* 1465 Addit); Vissingkloster (1268 claustro Wising); Vilholt (* 1524 Wilholtz marck, 1573 Wilholt); Nedenskov (* 1458 Nedenskouff marck); Pindsmølle (* 1524 Pindz mølle).

Listed prehistorics: a dolmen chamber with cover stone south of Sdr. Vissing, a stone grave and 19 hills, of which several are rather large: Kongenshøj east of Addit, one of Trebjerg høje west of Sdr. Vissing, Bredhøj, Bavnehøj, the somewhat digged Mejlhøj and a fourth hill, all southwest of Sdr. Vissing, and a hill at Voervadsbro.
Demolished or destroyed: 102 hills, of which many were around Addit. Most of the hills around Vissingkloster, which were rather small, contained Stone Age's single graves, while the hills around Addit mainly are from Bronze Age. -

Some of the largest settlements from Gudenå-culture are situated in the parish. First of all the large sites on each side of Rye bro(bridge), where in 1957 was built a museum for the large collections. Other settlements are at Lysholtgård, Vissingård, Revelmose and Salten ø; out in Revelmose(moor) was found an axe made of aurochs-bones, which probably also belongs to this culture. From Sdr. Vissing is known a settlement with landfill sites from early Celtic Iron Age. Fields from early Iron Age are known from Addit forest ("Kirkegården"). From Addit are known a couple of rich graves from late Roman Iron Age, one with bronze-vessel, knife, brosche, 2 goldrings etc, the other with weapons , glass cup etc.

photo Sdr. Vissing kirke 2003: grethe bachmann

Friday, February 05, 2010

Søvind church / Søvind kirke, Voer herred, Skanderborg amt.

Søvind church, ab. 10 km northeast of Horsens
Søvind sogn, Voer herred, Skanderborg amt.

The church in Søvind has a Romanesque choir and nave with a late Gothic tower to the west and a porch to the south. The Romanesque building is in granite ashlars and few travertines. The straight-edged south door, which is extended, is in use, while all other original wall-openings have disappeared. The choir arch is inside white-washed. In the late Gothic period , after 1500 was in the choir built one, in the nave two octagonal vaults, and at the same time was added a tower in monk bricks. Its bottom room opens to the nave in a circular tower arch and has an eight-ribbed vault. The porch is also from the late Gothic period in raw granite boulder. In the Renaissance period ab. 1600 was the choir gable re-walled, and it has inside two round arched niches.

Søvind, the vicarage

The altar piece is late Baroque with carved biblical figures and a painting from 1723, it was given by major Chr. Carl Müller and wife Anna Lasson. It was together with the pulpit repaired in 1929 .Late Gothic candelabres ab. 1550-75. A Romanesque granite font in simple Renaissance 1575 with panelwork in Baroque from the middle of 1600s. A large two-master church ship, "Søridderen". - Various memorials in the church.

Tyrrestrup, Google Earth
Tyrrestrup belonged in 1438 to Anders Hop. Niels Thomesen (Lange) is written to it in 1492-1501, he probably had got it via his wife Ide Galt, whose brother's son, rigsråd Peder Ebbesen (Galt) (+ 1548) owned it after this. The following owners were the son Mogens Galt (+ unmarried 1575) and his brother Gjord Galt (+ 1591), his widow Regitze Rosenkrantz (+ ab. 1615) and their son Peder Galt, who is written to T. in 1612 and 1624. In 1647 it was occupied by Laxmand Gyldenstierne (+ 1655), whose son Ebbe Gyldenstierne owned it in 1648; in 1667 he had royal allowance to let arrest Herman Stochmann, because he had bought T. but not met the contract, after having left the country 5 years ago he was again in Denmark. Later owners: Pogwisch, Müller, Juul, Søltoft, in 1936 sold by L.P.Horn to Jordlovsudvalget, which broke down the buildings and outparcelled the land, main building and forest were taken over in 1961 by L.P.Horn's children M. and I. Horn. - The present white-washed half-timbered main building is without doubt placed upon Peder Ebbesen Galt's square castle bank.

Owner of Tyrrestrup today: Jens Harder

Peder Galt lived in 1636 in Brigsted. Tyge Puder's widow Ingeborg gave 1397 Vorsø to Horsens kloster.

In a digging in a garden at Ås mark(field) were in 1847 found 863 coins, of which 343 Danish, the rest German, youngest coin from Chr. IV 1629.

In Ås was once a church (mentioned 1524), ab. 20 m long, 10 m broad, which was broken down by Peder Ebbesen Galt (+ 1548), who is said to have used the stones under his main building at Tyrrestrup, now where is nothing to see in the place, but on the place of the old church yard are sometimes found human bones.

Brigsted, at the coast opposite Vorsø

The island Vorsø is now a nature reserve.

In Tyrrestrup Horsehave was found the sacred Skt. Jakobs kilde.

The farm Torupvolde north of Søvind by the road to Gangsted is situated upon a medieval castle bank, whis is especially traceable in the garden south of the living house. The most striking is an earth bank along the east side of the garden, overgrown with large trees. There are several irregular rises in the terrain, both to the south and west is the garden bordered by a large circular , now tree-overgrown bank. In garden have been found monk brick-wall works and pavement.

Names in the Middle Ages and 1600s: Søvind (* 1425 Semuede, * 1426 Siønde, * 1475 Seuindtt kiere, 1544 Seffne); Brigsted (* 1427 Brixsted); Toftum (* 1487 Touttum Marck, * 1492 Tofftum); Ørbæk (1664 Ørbech); Ås ( 1511 Aassz); Tyrrestrup ( 1438 Thyrestropp, 1492 Tyristrop); Humleballegård (ab. 1600 Hummelballe marck).

Listed prehistorics: A somewhat demolished long dolmen at Tyrrestrup, a stone cist in Tyrrestrup forest and 6 hills, of which the large, but somewhat out-digged Grothøj north east of Søvind.
Demolished or destroyed: 5 dolmens and 15 hills. - A settlement from jættestuetid (late Stone Age) is known from Toftum, several settlements from early Roman Iron Age at Ås. Upon Vorsø is a kitchen midden.

Source: Trap Danmark, Skanderborg amt, 1964.

photo Søvind kirke /Brigsted 2004: grethe bachmann

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tamdrup church / Tamdrup kirke, Nim herred, Skanderborg amt.

Tamdrup Church, ab. 10 km northwest of Horsens
Tamdrup sogn, Nim herred, Skanderborg amt

The large church in Tamdrup lies upon the top of a hill and is seen so far away that it once was used as a seamark at Horsens Fjord. It is one of the oldest and strangest stone buildings in Denmark, closely related to Vor Frue Church in Roskilde. Powerful people, maybe the king was the building master, but the building is now marked by a thorough change made in the late Middle Ages, maybe in 1463. The large stone church was according to dendrochronological datings from timber in windows and nave built in the last decade of the 1000s - and probably finished ab. 1125. The Romanesque church consisted of apse, choir and an unusually broad nave. The decorations of the flank walls belong to the oldest Anglo-Saxon marked Danish church architecture. Tamdrup church belongs to the most important historic monuments in Denmark. It has some of the oldest frescoes in the country and one of the most important documents of the history about the introduction of Christianity in Denmark, a golden altar showing the famous representation of 'Poppos Jernbyrd' and Harald Bluetooth's christening.

The church might have been planned as a cross-armed church, but the project was changed at the building of the nave in the beginning of the 1100s. Instead was built a three-naved basilica with a room divided by pillars and arcade walls opening to the side naves. The pretty Romanesque construction was unfortunately radically rebuilt in the Gothic period in the middle of the 1400s. The apse to the east was broken down and the choir extended to double size. The nave had built in four bay cross vaults, which removed half the arcade pillars, and the rest was built in the new walls. The apses of the side-naves were broken down and finally was built a late Gothic tower to the west in monk bricks and a porch on the north side of the nave in front of the north door. Tower and porch from 1450-1500.

The golden altar in Tamdrup. The present front of the altar is a cast of the original gilt copper reliefs which are at the National Museum. It cannot be said for certain if the copper plates belong to an altar or maybe to a reliquary, which might have been made for Poppo. The last suggestion is in connection to Tamdrup church's function as a place of pilgrimage. The casts are today placed in three rows with Christ in the middle. The story of the plates are actually four stories, which very well indicate that they might have belonged to a four-sided box. The dating is uncertain. The historical event, Harald Bluetooth's christening happened in the late 900s, but compared to other golden altars the Tamdrup altar is dated to ab. 1200. It is probably older, although the earliest making must have been in the 1100s, maybe on connection to the inauguration of the church.

The church owns another magnificent piece: the baptismal font is one of the best Romanesque granite fonts in Jutland with its unusual motives. The Jutland lions have here been replaced by the Evangelist symbols in high relief surrounded by fine leaf-windings and human figures (the Evangelists) and upon the foot various angels. The Tamdrup font's motives underline a close connection between the four lion-figures on the usual lion fonts and the four Evangelists.

The Romanesque frescoes on the choir wall in Tamdrup belong to the earliest in Denmark, dated to 1100--1125. The preserved frescoes have been parts of a larger decoration . The painter belonged to the workshop, which a little earlier created the decorations of the choir in Jelling church. The choir vault's frescoes are from the late 1400s.

The cathedral -like church in Tamdrup was regarded as a sort of memorial church for the introduction of Christianity in Denmark. Its situation inside the domain of the Jelling dynasty and the rich Romanesque works of art, in which Harald Bluetooth's conversion to Christianity plays a central part, makes it reasonable to point to a royal building master, who wanted to emphasize the divine basis of the royal family - and this must be either Erik I Ejegod or king Niels. It was Erik Ejegod, who placed a independent archbishopric for the North in Denmark.
Erik Ejegod was known as a man of the church , and he went as a Christian king on a pilgrimage, which was fatal to him and his queen. Whoever the building master was, the church came soon into the ownership of the Århus bishop. In written sources Tamdrup church is first mentioned in July 1279 in a letter of bishop Tyge 2. of Århus in connection to a church meeting in Vejle. The connection to the church is seen from the neighbouring farm, Tamdrup Bisgård, which must have been the old bishopical residence. When the church was rebuilt in the 1400s it was ordered from the bishop. Upon the choir vault is the coat of arms of the bishop in Århus 1491-1520, Niels Clausen Skade. After the reformation the Catholic church lost all its possessions, i.e. Tamdrup church and the bishop's residence, Tamdrup Bisgård.

Tamdrup Bisgård and the church on top of the hills.

Tamdrup Bisgård belonged in the Middle Ages to Århus bishopric, later it was under Stjernholm vasalry and was occupied in 1578 by Anders Grøn,, whose widow in 1580 by the Crown got a life's letter on the farm. The son Holger Grøn is mentioned in B. in 1603 and 1621 and his heirs in B. in 1649. In 1664 it was by the Crown conveyed to Samuel and Jacob Isak de Lima. Later owners: Müller; Nansen; Olufsen Svane; Mandix; Hasselbalch; Secher; Reedtz; Lorentzen: From 1961 Karen M. Bentzen, née Juel.

The main buildin g is like the church situated high upon a range of hills and is visible far and wide. The half-timbered plan is from ab. 1784, built by Ole Mandix after the earlier buildings had burnt down. The two stables buildings in granite boulder are from 1894 and 1895.

Årupgård belonged in the Middle Ages to Ring kloster; in 1559 it was by Herluf Trolle endowed to Dorothea Sehested; in 1627 it was by the Crown transferred to Holger Grøn and then to his son, Anders Grøn (+ ab. 1649). In 1668 the Crown conveyed Å. and estate to mayor in Horsens Peder Jensen Hammel (+ 1680). Later owners: Eisbøll; Hegelund; Hofgaard; Fussing; Wellejus; Bjørn; Frich; Winther. In 1961: Landbrugernes Sammenslutning. - The main building was built in 1872 after a fire.

Marienborg was built by Ole Mandix of Bisgård in the late 1700s.

Provstlund belonged in 1495 to Voer kloster. The present farm was gathered according to royal permission of 1843 and 1851 by A.T. Schütte of Bygholm.

Vintenlund conveyed Otte Limbek of Boller in 1350 to Voer kloster.

In the northern outskirts of Vinten skov (forest) is the prettily kept double castle bank Drostholm or "Æ Hummelgaardsknold." It consists of a southeastern rectangular bank (ab. 30 x 27 m and ab. 2 1/2 m high, and a southwestern circular bank of almost the same height, (diameter 35 m), both surrounded by and each divided by moats, which originally were water-filled, but now are almost overgrown. Outside the moats are to the north and south towards the square bank an earth bank or dam, maybe leftover-earth from the moat. Upon the square bank have been found monk bricks; it has a vague hollow in the middle and out to the side towards the circular bank. This bank has no top-surface, but a vaguely slanting side to the top-point. In the forest south of the castle bank were various dikes and banks, but they are now flattened out.

Names in the Middle Ages and 1600s: Tamdrup kirke (* 1279 Thomæthorp, 1345 Tummæthorp); Lund (* 1350 Wintenlund, * 1453 Lundt, Vinthenlundt); Vinten (1488 Venthen, 1492 Vinthen, Winthen); Kørup (1492 Kørop); Vrønding ( * 1440 Vrønding, 1488 Vronningh); Molger (* 1448 Malgaard, 1492 Molger); Enner (* 1415 Ennir, 1492 Æner); Tamdrup Bisgård
(*1486 Bischobs gaard, 1492 Bisgard); Provstlund (* 1490 Proustlund); Årupgård (* 1274 Atrop marck, 1459 Oruplund, 1559 Aarupegaard); Herløkke (1682 Herre Lycke).

Listed prehistorics: In Lund skolehave (schoolgarden) was a small passage grave with an oval chamber, built by 9 supporting stones, but without cover stones. Furthermore a hill at Tamdrup Møllegård's land, close to Tamdrup Bavnehøj, where was a group of 8 hills.
Demolished or destroyed: 3 stone graves and 62 hills, which mainly were in the high land in the western part of the parish. - Along Hansted Å (river) were several settlements from early Stone Age. At Årupgård was an important depot or sacrifical finding from dyssetiden (early Stone Age): a clay vessel, (eye-vessel), where were 7 thin copper spirals and a pipe in copper, and 272 amber pearls, besides many pieces of amber. At the place is also a settlement from a later section of late Stone Age, jættestuetiden (passage grave period).

Source: Niels Peter Stilling, Danmarks kirker, 2000; Trap Danmark, Skanderborg amt, 1964.

photo Tamdrup kirke: grethe bachmann