Monday, May 31, 2010

Støvringgård, East Jutland, Randers amt

Støvringgård, 12 km northeast of Randers
Støvring sogn, Støvring herred, Randers amt

Støvringgård's history can be traced back to the Middle Ages. The farm is mentioned the first time in the beginning of the 1300s, where it is called Stiuringh or Steffrynge. It belonged to hr. Palne Jensen of "Stifring", who had the family Juul's coat of arms with the lily. The farm was placed downside the slope towards the meadows at Randers fjord upon a small landtongue, where the castle bank was later excavated. This castle bank might have existed already in the first centuries of the Middle Ages. The castle bank is artificial, a bank ab. 6 m high, which catches the water from the sources that trickle out from the slope itself. The good position made probably a magnate decide to build a castle.

After Palne Jensen was Niels Bugge probably the owner of Støvringgård. Hr. Palne's and fru Eline's daughter was his first wife. It is known that Eline Buggesdatter and her husband hr. Christiern Vendelbo, who died ab.1400, owned the farm, and after Christiern Vendelbo's death it came via inheritance to the daughter Else. "Fru Elseff af Steuringe" was the first time married to Axel Jepsen, who belonged to the Jutland lineage of the Thotts, and the second time to Lyder Holck, who in 1434 and 1437 is mentioned of Steuringe. After fru Else's death came Støvringe to her son of first marriage Jep Axelsen Thott and then to his son Axel Jepsen, who died in the last fourth of the 15th century. Other relatives had possibly also owner-ship of the farm.

Axel Jepsen was married to Margrethe Andersdatter Bjørn of Stenalt, and in the marriage was only one daughter, who was kloster-given to Ringkloster(Skanderborg). For unmarried women of aristocracy the kloster-life was the only one offered, it was some kind of life-insurance and support when they grew old. No wonder that the parents often took this way out to give their daughters a carefree life. Not all daughters were married, but behind the walls of the kloster was room for everyone. Maybe Axel Jepsen's datter was really a " wild and insane woman" like the tradition says, whom they had to shut up, maybe it is not a true story - but she was an heiress and giving her to the kloster lead to a big inheritance-feud about the farm. It was a fat bite, and no one let it go if the had possibilities to get a bite of the cake.

The result was that Axel Jepsen's brother-in-law, ridder and rigsråd Jacob Andersen Bjørn got the farm. He was a great estate-collector. When he married Margrethe Poulsdatter (Fikkesen?), he got as a dowry Tybjerggård, and he was the owner of Vorgård in Himmerland. And also Støvringgård after his marriage. After his death fru Margrethe managed his estates for many years, but she lived mostly at Støvringgård. From two children her son Anders died unmarried in 1536. The daughter Dorte was married twice, first time to Christopher Hak of Egholm and second time to Oluf Glob of Vellumgård, but there were no children in either marriage, and the estates went after her death ab.1562 to her cousin Anne Bjørnsdatter's children. Fru Anne was married to Niels Kaas of Stårupgård and Tårupgård, and two of their sons, Niels and Erik Kaas, inherited Støvringgård.

Mostly known of the two brothers is Niels Kaas. He had spent a part of his youth at Denmark's famous theologian Niels Hemmingsen and had achieved good knowledge of theology, Latin and other humanioras. All his life he embraced science and university-conditions with the warmest interest. In 1560 he entered the kancelliet and advanced quickly, until he in 1573 was appointed the king's kansler, one of the highest offices in Denmark. After Frederik II's death he was one of four rigsråds who made up the regency. The scene - where Niels Kaas on his deathbed gives the young Christian IV the key to the vault with the regalia and says goodbye to him in some beautiful and admonitory words - is famous. Niels Kaas will always be a fine representative of the Danish nobility in its prime.

It was especially his brother Erik Kaas who was connected to Støvringgård - Niels Kaas did not have the time to take care of the management and has possibly given the farm to his brother. After Erik Kaas' death in 1578 the farm went to his two sons, Niels Kaas ( + 1620) of Birkelse and Mogens Kaas (+ 1656), and in their time the building begun of the present buildings at Støvringgård. The family Kaas has thus left themselves a lasting memory in Danish manor-history.

From Niels Kaas' time origins probably the oldest north wing, under which were found foundations. In 1622 was the building of the parallel south wing finished , which still exists. In 1630 the south wing probably got a small addition to the south. Mogens Kaas was responsible of these extensions of the farm. After he in 1614 had outbought his brother, he was the sole master of the manor. He was a rich and distinguished man, who received great esteem. He owned much estate and land, besides Støvringgård also Tårupgård, Gudumlund and Herrestrup, he was a member of rigsrådet and had large vasalries.

Above the gate in the long west wing was a sandstone tablet with the year 1623 and the names and coat of arms of Mogens Kaas and his wife Sidsel Friis. This tablet is together with another sandstone tablet with the coat of arms of Galt , Kaas (with the Chevron), Skaktavl-Friis and Bjørn (these are the paternal and maternal coat of arms of the married couple Kaas) - kept and in a very crumbled state walled in under the veranda of the east side of the middle wing. The last mentioned tablet was possibly set up by Mogens Kaas in the castle yard. A few years after Mogens Kaas' death in 1656 Støvringgård was shared between his three sons and four daughters, but at that time the greatness and riches of the family Kaas was over. The debt quickly grew over the heads of the children, and Støvringgård went to their creditors. In a parliament-verdict in 1672 bishop Hans Svane's heirs and Thomas Fuiren were entered into the son Erik Kaas' estate as a pay for their claims, and in the following years the family Fuiren succeeded in bringing the farm into their own hands.

The family Fuiren, who also forced out the Rosenkrantzs at Vindingegård (Fuirendal) was one of the richest and most esteemed civil families in Copenhagen in the 17th century. Købmand (merchant) Henrik Fuiren immigrated from Mecklenburg in the middle of the 16th century. His descendants were closely connected to the university-circles in Copenhagen, among them were serveral respected physicians, like Thomas Fuiren. One of his sisters, Marie, was married to the most distinguished clergy of the absolute monarchy, archbishop Hans Svane. After 1660 the family played a role inside Danish agriculture-history, when they were involved in estate managing and took a leading position in the group of the landlords of that period. After Thomas Fuiren's death Støvringgård was taken over by his brother's son baron Diderik Fuiren and his wife Margrethe, née Eilersen. After her death 1708 the farm came to baroness Christine Fuiren, who was married to overkrigssekretær gehejmeråd Jens Harboe, who died in 1709. There were no children in this marriage.

Støvringgård Kloster, a "mild institution" for daughters of men from the upper ranks, owes its existence to Christine Fuiren. She was an energetic and clever woman, who was also honourable and charitable. The painting of her at Støvringgård shows her as a beautiful and stately lady. If anyone dared opposed to her, she rode out gallopping up and down the old avenues, of which one still bears her name. Generosity was one of the family-traditions; her brother, baron Diderik, who died young, had given rich gifts to the university. Besides Støvringgård Kloster Christine Fuiren also established Det Harboeske Enkefrukloster, (The Harboe Widow-kloster). It was up in the time to establish frøkenklostre (for unmarried women); from the late 17th and into the first half of the 18th century were several noble klosters established, like in 1698 Den Thaarupgaardske Stiftelse, 1699 Roskilde adelige Jomfrukloster, 1701-02 Gisselfeld, 1717 klostret i Odense og 1735 Vemmetofte adelige Jomfrukloster. At baroness Fuiren's will, dated on her day of death 23 November 1735, came the establishment of Støvringgård Jomfrukloster and of Det Harboeske Enkefrukloster. To those two institutions had daughters and widows of men from the first five ranks admission.

The decision was that Støvringgård with estate, taxes and adjoined estate had to make a kloster, where twelve jomfruer (unmarried women) and a prioress could live. Christine Fuiren had managed her estate in an excellent and sensible way and among other things achieved that the peasant-eastate had been increased. It took however some years, before the kloster was ready to receive the twelve women, but on the 12. March 1745 was the royal instrument of foundation issued, and the king was since then the protector of the kloster. He occupied the places, while the kloster-women themselves elected a prioress. The management of the kloster was in the hands of the stiftamtmand and the bishop in Århus.

In 1742-47 was made a thourough restoration of the building, done by the first director of the kloster, Jacob Benzon of Rugård and Katrinebjerg, the later viceregent in Norway. The wings were connected, and to the east was built a wing with the kloster church. The master of this rebuild was the German-born architect Nicolaus Heinrich Riemann,who at the same time built a new farm building, which was changed in 1830-40. Mogens Christian Thrane did all the paint-work and the drawing for the altar piece and the pulpit in the church. On the 2. October 1760 was the inauguration of the building, and from now on the church service was held in the chapel by the parish priest. Outside Støvringgård is the garden, which was planned by Christine Fuiren in French style, and from her time is kept a parterre-garden with her reflection monogram CF in box tree.

After a long time of declining economy an idea ripened during the 1970s about a recreation of the kloster, so that apartments were offered also to men and married couple. In December 1981 the last of four konventualinder (kloster women) moved from the kloster. With support from Det særlige Bygningssyn was made comprehensive restorations and by the help of own means from some of the kloster-estate and support from several funds were established 12 modern apartments in the kloster. Today Støvringgård is managed by a committee: stiftamtmanden and the bishop of Århus bishopric and the mayor of Nørrehald Kommune.


Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 11, 1966, Himmerland og Ommersyssel, Støvringgaard af cand.mag. Elin Bach.

photo Støvringgård 2002: grethe bachmann

Monday, May 24, 2010

Vitskøl Kloster,(Bjørnsholm), Himmerland, North Jutland

Vitskøl Kloster, ab. 12 km south of Løgstør
Overlade sogn, Års herred, Ålborg amt.

In the autumnn of 1573 rigsråd Bjørn Andersen (Bjørn) of Stenalt became the owner of the old Vitskøl kloster in Himmerland, of which he established the manor Bjørnsholm. This happened in an exchange with Frederik II, where Bjørn Andersen gave some estate at Sjælland, among others his fortificated farm Vinstrup at Tystrup sø and a part of his wife's estate. Together with the kloster he achieved the island Livø and 3 water mills and furthermore 125 farms and several houses.

The Jutland manor klosters were in two large groups, one along the Gudenå river and its lakes, the other along the coasts of Limfjorden with 8 klosters. Vitskøl kloster owed its existence to Valdemar den Store. Providence had first saved him from Svend Grathe's treacherous attack in Roskilde in 1157 and a few months later given Valdemar Sejr, and in thankfulness he decided to do a pious action. He gave from his paternal estate in 1158 the village "Vithscuele" with additions to an establishment of a kloster for monks of the Cisterciense-order. This order owned several of the most wellknown klosters of the country, like Esrom and Sorø at Zealand, Holme at Funen, Øm and Vitskøl -or as the monks called it Vitæ schola - in Jutland.

The kloster was managed by an abbot, next to him were a prior and a subprior. The kloster enjoyed highly the favour of the royal house, since it was founded by a king. It was given much estate, and there is witness that it stretched far and wide beyond the borders of the district. It owned 8 churches and at least 165 farms and small farms, 4 watermills and several other estate both north of Limfjorden and in Salling and at the island Mors - furthermore it had until 1320 part in the island Læsø. It was not one of the richest klosters in Denmark, but it had a solid economic basis.

The Cistercienses was a hard-working monk-order, who was engaged in architecture and music and obtained great credits for being pioneers inside agriculture. Their farms were models, from where others could get new inspiration. When the kloster was transferred to the Crown at the Reformation, the monks were allowed to stay. The last abbot was mostly a kloster-manager, he was a married man and also a parish-priest. Not until 1563 was the kloster abandoned and became a royal vasalry, which was pawned to Henrik Gyldenstierne, who was a vasal until the exchange between Bjørn Andersen and the king in 1573.

Bjørn Andersen (Bjørn) was a learned man, he had been a landsdommer at Zealand and was also a rigsråd. He had on and off many vasalries both in Denmark and Norway, at last he had Århusgård and the largest vasalry in Jutland, Ålborghus, which had a good situation for him, since he moved to the area after his large exchange. When he died at Bjørnsholm in 1583, the farm went to his son Truid Bjørnsen, while the younger son Jakob got the family's old farm Stenalt, and three lesser manors, Vår, Gunderupgård and Strandbygård went to his daughters and their husbands.

At this time the old Bjørn-family was almost extent. The two brothers died young without leaving heirs, Truid died in 1590 and Jakob six years later as the last male of the family. A month after Truid was buried in Bjørnsholm's church, his widow fru Ermegård Gyldenstierne gave birth to a son, who at once was baptized with his father's name, but died the same day. The widow became at the birth of her son the owner of the farm , since the child had inherited his father and she had inherited the child, but her late husband's siblings wanted to plead that the child had been stillborn and therefore could not inherit anything. A trial started, but the result was that fru Ermegård kept the inheritance, when she in 1592 with the oath of 12 knights had cleared herself of the accusation of inheritance-deceit from her sisters- and brothers-in-law.

In 1600 fru Ermegård married Gjord Kaas of Tårupgård, and thus she became the part in a very sensational and intimate case; her husband was unfaithful to her and had two children with his late cousin's widow fru Birgitte Rosenkrantz. This was considered kætteri (incest) at that time . They were both sentenced to death, and she had to mount the scaffold. He took flight abroad, but when he years later came back to the country, he was caught and executed ( in 1616). His marriage to fru Ermegård had of course been annulled. Her year of death is not known, but it was probably ab. 1608, since her brother Niels Christoffersen Gyldenstierne in 1609 was the owner of Bjørnsholm. He probably owned it together with his unmarried sister jomfru Sophie Gyldenstierne. They both died without heirs, he in 1619, her year of death is uncertain, but already in 1622 the farm was sold to their siblings' children, Holger Bille and Jesper Friis of Ørbæklunde (+ 1643). Holger Bille sold 1637 his part to Axel Nielsen Juul of Kongstedlund (search blog), who from 1643 owned it together with Jesper Friis' widow fru Elsebeth Ulfeldt.

Bjørnsholm experienced troubled years after the death of fru Ermegård, and they lasted till about the end of the century. The old kloster church gradually fell into ruins, but excavations have showed that it was rightfully famous; it was a large and impressive church, a cross church with side-naves both in the longhouse and in the cross arms. Its choir was surrounded by an aisle with nine small apses, which made the Vitskøl church the most magnificent of all Cisterciense-churches , and it might even not be inferior to the mother-church Citeaux in France. The outer plinths and many details were carved in granite, but else was the church built in monk bricks. It was however never finished.

The large church had - from the time where the kloster was transferred to the Crown - to be repaired like other village churches for small means, which came to it via kirketiender (church taxes) from Bjørnsholm's parish - and this was not enough. In 1589 the king allowed Truid Bjørnsen to have the kongetienden (royal tax) from three parishes for its repair and after his death the same was allowed his widow, but in 1643 it is said that it "haver længe ligget slet øde." (that it has been ruined for a long time"). In Axel Juul's time the church service was in the fruerstue (ladies' room) of the farm, but in 1668 a new church was used; it was the northern wing of the farm, which Niels Juul with little expense had furnished for this. It served as a parish church until 1916, when it was replaced by a new church in Overlade, to where most inventory was transferred.

In 1660 the estate of Bjørnsholm was only a small part of the kloster-estate in 1573, when Bjørn Andersen got it. In the exchange after him a big part came to his daughters, and maybe the following troubled times also brought some recession. Axel Juul and fru Elsebeth Ulfeldt had together only ab. 60 farms, but it was worse that the estate was in a very bad state. Fru Elsebeth had in 1660 pawned her halfpart of farm and estate to Henrik Thott, who later took over the pawn and sold it to Niels Juul, who had become the owner of the second half, when his father Axel Juul died in 1664. Niels Juul was only owner by name, he actually owned nothing. His estate was pawned and his creditors had him arrested several times on royal permission. In 1672 it was said that he because of his debts had left the country.

It is not known what happened to Niels Juul later, but already in 1668 his father-in-law Axel Juul of Volstrup (Hjerm parish) had let himself enter in his main farm Gunderupgård with estate and some land from Bjørnsholm's estate. He, (+1671) or his widow fru Elisabeth Friis, must later also have been the owner of Bjørnsholm, which she shortly before her death (1677) willed to her daughter Ingeborg Juul's 10 children with Tyge Below, but they were in 1686 allowed by royal permission to sell it, since it could not unravel the taxes. In 1689 they conveyed the farm to Anders Mortensen Kjærulf, and then the farm came into safer conditions. It was high time, if the the estate should be prevented from being a ruin.

There was enough to do for Anders Kjærulf; he was a son of a herredsfoged in Kær herred and had been a manager of several manors - and he very much extended the added estate of the farm and achieved several tiender (taxes). He established the farm Lundgård, and a far away placed farm Padkær came also in existence - it laterbecame an impressive property. He bought five other manors. It was said about him after his death that he had "scraped togethere much estate and means", but it was added " not quite fair, for he was a hard man to deal with". He managed Bjørnsholm himself, of course by villeinage, and therefore the domestic staff at his farm was small. He was a great bullock-breeder - in 1718 he had 360 bullocks in his stables. Although he was not a "fin" (noble) man, he achieved in 1724 to be enobled together with his brother Laurids of Wiffertsholm.

Anders Kjærulf died at Sødal in 1735, but he had already exchanged property with his only living son, regimentskvartermester (military title) Søren Kjærulf, since he had got married again. The son got Bjørnsholm, Ørndrup at the island Mors and Halkær, which together had a value of ab. 60.000 rigsdaler. He lived at Halkær and died there already two years later. He succeeded in losing everything, and his widow pawned in 1731 Bjørnsholm estate to her mother's brother Peder Thøgersen Lassen of Rødslev (+ 1737), who the same year was enobled in the name Lasson - and who the following year became its owner. In the exchange after him it was transferred together with Sønder Vosborg to his son Mathias Lasson, who later became the owner of several important manors. He extended the adjoining estate of Bjørnsholm and bought several tiender (taxes) and became the owner of the church, which was built together with Bjørnsholm. His name is especially attached to the manor, since he built or rebuilt the eastern wing, partly upon old foundations and with the medieval walls.

The eastern wing held the manor-apartment and was modern furnished with several "upholstered" rooms with loft-paintings, painted tapestry and fine joinery, which is still seen at the manor. The northern wing was the church, which was furnished by Niels Juul - and the western wing from late Middle Ages was used for various things, upon the gable is the year 1646 and the initials of Elsebeth Ulfeldt. At a southern wing, which probably was broken down in the beginning of the 19th century, was possibly a high tower built by Mathias Lasson, of which are no traces left. He also built on the farm-building in half-timbered oak. (which burnt down in 1931). Upon this was the year 1754 and the letters M.L.B.R. He was married to Birgitte Cathrine Rosenkrantz. They died almost at the same time in 1756, and in the exchange after them farm and estate were laid out in 1759 for 50.010 rigsdaler to their son Peter Lasson, who owned it for about 50 years until his death in 1808.

He let as far as possible everything be as it was, but the impressive garden was his work. There was a herb-garden from the kloster-period, but not until Niels Juul's time is something written about it. The tradition says that the priest in Strandby competed with him in embellishing his garden with the finest garden-plans. In Mathias Lasson's period is often mentioned both a kitchen garden and a "beautiful pleasure- and fruit-garden". The son Peter Lasson had got something to pass on. Of him and his wife from the family Rosenørn is an obelisk-shaped grave memorial at the church yard. They left no children, and the farm was in 1809 at auction and was bought by the energetic and skilled captain Johan Caspar de Mylius, who gradually became the owner of many manors on the islands and in Jutland.

From the herb-garden.

Mylius lived for a period at Bjørnsholm . The three farms, which for a long time had existed from the former land of Vitskøl Kloster, were divided - and upon the island Livø, which long ago had come back to the owner of Bjørnsholm , he re-established the abandoned ladegård (farm-building). He rebuilt both mills of Bjørnsholms, and it was probably also Mylius, who introduced a better operation of the land and started dairywork in connection to studehold (bullocks). But times grew difficult, and in spite of his cleverness he suffered great loss and had to give up several farms, which had considerable loans from den kongelige kasse (royal bank). In 1828 he had to give Bjørnsholm, Lundgård and Padkær with all adjoining estate and the large estate Ågård in Vester Han herred to den kongelige kasse .

Herb Garden

During almost all the time when the Danish State owned these farms J. Wulff was estate- manager of the collected estate and A.C. Nyholm was lessee at Bjørnsholm. He was a skilled farmer, who cultivated considerable heath-areas etc. In the late 1850s most of the estate was sold. Bjørnsholm was sold to ritmester Allan Dahl ab.1867. In spite of all changes Bjørnsholm was still a large farm. Dahl sold the farm in 1873 to navy captain H.L. Thalbitzer, after whose death in 1887 his widow Ida Marie née Hansen owned it till 1908, when it was sold to cand. phil. A. T. Loehr, who owned it for ab. 10 years. After this various owners. In an exchange in 1920 the rest of the estate was after some outparcelling sold to farmer J.Eriksen in Ranum, after whom it in 1930 was taken over by his son Robert Eriksen. In 1931 the farm-building burnt down and a new was built in 1932 north of Bjørnsholm.

The old church yard.

The main building is listed in class A, but in 1934 the owner announced that he saw it necessary to break down the buildings, since the repair was too costy. The result was that the Danish State bought the old buildings in 1934. In 1942 was avlsgården( the farm-building which burnt down 1931 and was rebuilt in 1932) bought. Its name is still Bjørnsholm.

There is now a ungdomshjem (community home/youth-home) in the old main building which again has its old name Vitskøl Kloster after ab. 375 years A beautiful and interesting new establishment is the kloster-garden with many rare plants.

Vitskøl kloster seen from Ertebølle beach.

In 1958 the National Museum started, with the assistance from the students at Vitskøl, a comprehensive restore of the church ruin. Lots of granite ashlars from the building were found and re-used. The 280 cm tall granite pillar - where one half was found at Børglum Kloster in Vendsyssel - is especially interesting. At the same time the medieval room in the west wing of the kloster was restored and the church wing and the old sacristi repaired. The architect C.M. Smidt, who in the 1920s was the leader of the excavation of the National Museum wrote among other things that the ruin is the last rest of a church building, which belonged to the Cisterciense-order. Among the Cisterciense-churches of the North it was one of the most shining examples of how they in the Danish Valdemar-period kept up with the great European cultural movements. This Limfjord-church was in its imaginative peculiarity and its strange personal look without parallel among Europe's medieval Cisterciense-klosters.

Vitskøl Kloster

Herb Garden

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 11, 1966, Vitskøl Kloster, by arkivar, cand.mag. S. Nygaard.

photo Vitskøl Kloster 1999,2004,2006,2009: grethe bachmann

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kongstedlund, Himmerland, North Jutland, Ålborg amt.

Kongstedlund, ab. 18 km south of Ålborg
Sønder Kongerslev sogn, Hellum herred, Ålborg amt.

Among the farms in Himmerland Kongstedlund belongs to the large manor-plans from the 16th century, but its history goes much further back in time. According to the legend it was founded by an old Danish pirate king, who lived at the farm and was buried in the hill Store Mogens, which is west of Sønder Kongerslev village. It is not known, if Kongstedlund was a pirate's castle, but the building place on the western border of Lille Vildmose is chosen from fortification reasons.

The farm was established by a chief or a large farmer outside the village community and was originally named Kongslevlund. It was first in the late 16th century that the name Kongstedlund arrived, contemporary to the real story of the farm. The information that it belonged to Viborg bishopric before the reformation comes from Arild Huitfeldt, but this cannot be true, since there were owners, which went back four generations to the first known owner, hr. Anders Jacobsen Bjørn, who in 1469 had a thing's witness that " it was (his maternal grandfather) hr. Anders Ovesen's (Bjørn) rightful inheritance after his mother Marie Oves." This Marie Oves was Anders Jacobsen's great-grandmother, married to hr. Ove Stigsen Hvide, and with him we are back in the 14th century. (Marie Oves means that she is Ove's wife.)

After Anders Jacobsen a couple of generations from the family Bjørn was still at Kongslevlund, thus is mentioned his son's son Henrik Bjørnsen Bjørn of Stenalt in 1538. He was killed in 1540 by the bailiff at Hald, the Holsteiner Heinrich Blome, whereafter his sister's sons Jens Kaas and the king's kansler Niels Kaas, and his half siblings, Christoffer (of Odden), Iver (of Tirsbæk) and Kirsten Lunge (Dyre) had parts of the farm. Kirsten Lunge was married to rigsråd Axel Juul of Willestrup ( + 1577). Axel Juul's son Niels Juul was of great importance for the development of the farm. He was born in 1557, stayed for a time at landgraf Vilhelm af Hessen and took part in the war in the Netherlands. After his stay abroad he came home in 1570 and took over his father's part of Kongslevlund. He worked with energy to gather the spread property on one hand, and in the years around 1590 he was the sole owner of Kongstedlund, which the farm was now called. He had difficulties in getting an accurate boundary between his own and the land of his neighbours, and it looks, as if he often took a strong line with it. The peasants of Gudumlund in Nørre Kongerslev complained that Niels Juul without further notice took their land in order to sow some" unusual seeds". He denied to acknowledge an old boundary between Kongstedlund and Smidie village, and not until after some long-winding lawsuits he was forced to give in.

Niels Juul was according to tradition despotic and self-willed, and his economic condition was considered very bad, but this is probably not true; in 1592 he built a new main building at Kongstedlund - and a large and magnificent building-work like this could only be built by a squire, who had considerable means. A few years later he was killed in a feud with Albret Skeel of Jungetgård at the Whitsun-market in Ålborg in 1600. It was obviously a duel between noblemen. The case was settled with that Skeel paid a fine of 2.000 daler to Niels Juul's heirs, and genuflectioned to them. In return the heirs issued a security letter (årfejdebrev) for him.

Niels Juul's widow Anne Thomesdatter Stygge took over the farm together with their son Axel Juul. Fru Anne was in 1608 allowed to "this once taxfree to drive 40 pieces of cattle, mares and horses through Ribe from her farm Kongstedlund to her farm Westerbeck south of Ribe." Axel Juul, who was married to Riborg Arenfeldt of Palsgård, owned beside his paternal farm also Bjørnsholm and Gunderupgård at Løgstør. Three years later he sold Kongstedlund to Iver Krabbe of Albæk, who was married to Niels Juul's brother's daughter Dorthe Juul. He was mostly known as a vasal at Mariager kloster. He bought in 1637 not only Kongstedlund, but also the neighbouring farm Randrup from Jakob Seefeld. The two farms had until 1772 with few interruptions joint owners. Iver Krabbe left a beautiful memorial at Kongstedlund in the door portal of sandstone, which he let build in 1640, a year before his death.

When the widow later married Erik Høg (Banner) of Bjørnholm at Djursland in 1649, this great estate-collector became the owner of Kongstedlund. The new owner, who lived at Bjørnholm, only considered the farm as a far away part of his large estate. Besides collecting estate he made himself especially noticed via his many marriages. He was married five times. With Dorthe Juul he had the son Iver Juul Høg, who at his death in 1673 inherited all the estate in Himmerland and at Djursland. He lived at Bjørnholm and was most interested in his estates at Djursland, and in order to realize his plans on his farms there Iver Høg sold in 1675 Kongstedlund and Randrup. The buyer was the earlier slotsskriver Peder Pedersen Brønsdorff, and this was the first time a civil man became the owner of Kongstedlund. Brønsdorff had via royal permission of 1686 confirmed the adelige frihed (nobility freedom) of his farm. He later bought more property as an addition to Kongstedlund.

After Brønsdorff's death in 1701 Kongstedlund was inherited by his three sons and his son-in-law Laurits Christensen Westerhof, who soon after out-bought his brothers-in-law and became the sole owner. He sold the farm already three years later to his brother-in-law Severin Brønsdorff for 14.000 rigsdaler. The new owner lived at Randrup. His wife Charlotte Amalie Wiegandt was a daughter of the wellknown Copenhagen storhandelsmand Gisbert Wiegandt Michelbecker, whose large riches probably was not without importance for buying the estate. In 1723 Severin Brønsdorff was enobled - and later he achieved the title kancelliråd. Kongstedlund might have been farmed out in his owner-time; around the midle of the century was a monsieur Houman lessee at Kongstedlund. Brønsdorff's economic situation worsened in his last years, and he had to take a big loan in Kongstedlund, 8.000 rigsdaler. In 1746 the cattle plague - which haunted the country in the middle of the 18th century - came to Kongstedlund. It is not known how big a part of the livestock at Kongstedlund was striken, but half the livestock in Hellum herred died in the time 1746 - May 1748.

Severin Brønsdorff died in 1748, and two years later his widow died. The only heir was their daughter Anne Kirstine, who was married to major Hans Georg von Deden, but when she died in 1750, Kongstedlund and Randrup was in 1751 put at auction and was taken over by major von Deden. He lived at Randrup and was mostly interested in this farm, and he had plans about selling Kongstedlund. He arranged an auction at Kongstedlund; the highest bid was 25. 500 rigsdaler, and he would not sell for this sum, so there was no hammer stroke. In his marriage to Anne Kirstine, von Deden had the son Severin Brønsdorff von Deden, who after his mother's death had his maternal inheritance placed in Kongstedlund and took over the farm in 1722, 22 years old, for 25. 500 rigsdaler, the same sum, which had been offered at the auction in 1769.

Kongstedlund had during the previous owners been inhabited by lessees or bailiffs, but now moved a master and mistres in 1772 into the farm. Brønsdorff von Deden was married to a daughter of amtsforvalter Christensen in Ålborg, and the 40 years he owned Kongstedlund, 1772-1812, is one of the most important periods in the history of the Danish agriculture. There is no safe information of, what the great agricultural reforms brought to Kongstedlund. The lord of Kongstedlund was the sole landowner of Sønder Kongerslev with 87 tønder hartkorn. Brønsdorff von Deden died in 1812 at Kongstedlund. The year before he had sold 64 tønder hartkorn, which was a part of the farm in Svanfolk village. It is possible that he in his last year had a foretaste of the economic difficulties, which his successor at Kongstedlund seriously felt later.

Brønsdorff's son-in-law Sigvard Altewelt Færch of Vivebrogård took over Kongstedlund after him. The big agriculture-crisis following the Napoleonic wars came in his time as owner, and he couldn't cope economically. He had to pawn large parts of the peasant-estate, which belonged to Kongstedlund, and when the debt became due leave the estate to the creditors. He transferred in 1825 all of Sønder Kongerslev to the heirs after herredsfoged Claus Nissen, who before his death had advanced Færch with 8.000 rigsbankdaler. The main farm was in a bad state at Færch's death in 1839. At an auction it was sold (without peasant-estate, livestock and movables) to Ole Michael Kjeldsen from Lerkenfeldt for ab. 28.000 rigsbankdaler.

Sønder Kongerslev church

The new owner, whose family is known from several Himmerland manors, was married to Johanne Henriette Ahnfeldt. Kjeldsen managed Kongstedlund cleverly in 60 year's of ownership and created himself a consolidated position as a landlord. He adopted his son Johan Henrik Ahnfeldt Kjeldsen as a co-owner in his last years. Shortly after his death the farm was taken over in the year 1900 by Kreditforeningen af jydske Landejendomsbesiddere for 86.000 kr, but was soon after sold to a partnership with members of the family Kjeldsen. A part of the farm was outparcelled for small-holders. The main farm went to Søren Chr. Nørgaard of Vesløsgård for 156.000 kr. In his time the farm building burnt down and was rebuilt in 1909. His brother Carl Nørgård owned Kongstedlund from 1912-1915, and then it was bought by løjtnant Christian Kjellerup for 275.000 kr. He sold the farm two years later to departementschef, later viceadmiral Hjalmar Rechnitzer, and after this it was sold to hofjægermester, kammerjunker Jørgen Carl Gustav Castenschiold, married to princess Dagmar, in 1922 for 331.000 kr. Godsejer Axel M. Horsens took over Kongstedlund in 1963.

The western wing, the main wing, stands from the main building Niels Juul let build at Kongstedlund. It has two storeys above vaulted cellars and is in red bricks with a high plinth of carved granite boulders. The windows are mostly in the original places, and their irregular placement shows that the building master wanted to follow the Gothic tradition, which let the windows follow the room divisions. The high slender building is finished with a steep tile roof. The facades were originally red, but are now white-washed; they are equipped with wall anchors with a shape like the Lily of the family Juul .

The castle yard was originally three-winged, since it has had a gate-building at the north side. In 1640 Iver Krabbe let made a magnificent sandstone portal in the yard by the main wing. The portal is carried by an Asian and an antique warrior and has the letters I.K.N (Iver Krabbe Nielsen) and D.J.( Dorthe Juul) and the four coat of arms: Krabbe, Ulfstand, Juul and Parsberg. The main building at Kongstedlund was in periods exposed to neglect and decay. Jørgen Castenschiold let soon after his taken over restore the building and modernize the inside. The next owner had to new-restore the main building in 1964 and partly renew and modernize the farm buildings. The park and the moat were also repaired.

Owner 1973-90: Jens Erik Horsens, 1990-94 Christian C. Juel-Brockdorff, 1994 - Arne Houmann Thomsen.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 11, 1966, Himmerland og Ommersyssel, Kongstedlund, af cand.mag. Jens Sølvsten.

photo Kongstedlund & Sønder Kongerslev 2003: grethe bachmann

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Lindenborg, Himmerland, North Jutland, Ålborg amt.

Lindenborg, ab. 15 km south of Ålborg
Blenstrup sogn, Hellum herred, Ålborg amt.

Lindenborg is the main residence in the earlier grevskab (county) Lindenborg. It is the largest estate in the northern Jutland and is situated in the broad valley, where Lindenborg å (river) runs towards Limfjorden, just south of the bridge, which leads the road Ålborg-Hadsund across the river. The castle is surrounded by moats and sheltered by old trees and a thick planting against the windy weathers of Himmerland.

Lindenborg river now runs surrounded by broad meadow areas, but originally was an arm of the sea or a fjord stretching into the land. Still in the 18th century was the river much broader. Upon the narrowest part of the valley, where the road crosses the river, was ferry traffic between Ålborg and eastern Himmerland until the middle of the 18th century.

The first evidence about a farm here by the ferry place in the valley origins from 1367. The name of the farm was Næsholm and the owner was Niels Kirt. It was placed in Næs parish, which existed for a long time together with Blenstrup parish - and as it happened in many other places the large farm swallowed the whole town and became a manor. It was possibly a man of the family Kirt, who in the 14th century built a fortificated farm on an islet in or by the river. In 1376 Niels Kirt conveyed Næsholm, now called Næs, to his sons Jakob and Palle Kirt. The first became the sole owner and gave in 1416 the main farm Næs with adjoining estate in the parish to Viborg bishopric, on the condition that masses were held in the cathedral for the salvation of his own, his wife's and his parents' souls. In the gift letter Jakob Kirt probably reserved the farm for his own lifetime.

Lindenborg Å

Until the reformation the estate now belonged to Viborg bishopric, and the bishops had officials and priests there, thus is mentioned Sti Vestenie at Næs in 1480 and Mikkel Krabbe in 1499 and 1503. In 1504 Mogens Thomesen Kaas of Næs had a case about a field boundary. These three men were probably the bishop's vasals at the farm. In 1534 Næs shared fate with many other North Jutland farms, when the hated manors were put on fire. In the northern wing of the present main building are well-preserved cellars and in the eastern wing considerable rests of a building, which has survived the fire.

At the reformation Næs came to the Crown, and in 1544 Iver Friis of Haraldskær had the farm as a pawn for 1.500 joachimsdaler, which he had lent to the king. Iver Friis also got some of the peasant-estate from the Crown, which earlier belonged to Hald. Iver Friis died in 1557. He was the brother of the last Catholic bishop in Viborg, Jørgen Friis. Already before his death the king's stable-master Holger Tønnesen Viffert was allowed to redeem Næs, but because Friis died the relief did not happen. Holger Viffert had the farm in an exchange with the Crown in 1561; he exchanged Næs with his maternal estate in Skåne. He took part in the Ditmarsker War and got a bullet in his arm, but he did not die from this - he succumbed to a disease in Landskrona during the Nordic Seven Years War. He had been engaged to Anne Gyldenstierne, a daughter of the rich Knud Gyldenstierne of Vosborg. After his death his brother Corfitz took over both his fiancé, whom he married in 1571, and the farm Næs.
Blenstrup church, foto stig bachmann nielsen,

Corfitz Viffert was one of the influental noblemen of the country. He achieved important vasalries, in 1565 Katsløse, later Hald, Helsingborg, Malmøhus, Lundegård and finally Kalundborg. In 1586 he became a member of rigsrådet. (state council). In the time of his ownership the adjoined estate of Næs was increased considerably. He bought by exchanges with the Crown in 1579 and 1583 31 farms, 6 bol (small farms) and 2 houses in Blenstrup parish and surrounding parishes. To these he added in 1591 kongetienden (taxes) from Blenstrup, Fræer and Brøndum parishes. He also gave the farm a new main building, which was finished in 1583, and from this pretty building is the main wing kept in a somewhat changed condition.

Corfitz Viffert died in 1592 at Kalundborg castle, where he was a vasal. When his widow Anne Gyldenstierne died in 1595 the daughter Christence, who was the only child, became the owner of Næs. She was first married to Henrik Bille of Mogenstrup and then to rigsråd, statholder in Copenhagen Breide Rantzau, who was one of the biggest landowners in Denmark. When fru Christence died in 1604, the son Frantz Rantzau inherited her estate, also Næs, and after the father's death in 1618 also some of his estate. Frantz Rantzau's estates gave him a yearly income of 20.000 rigsdaler. A rich man like that had of course political power and influence. Already when young he was highly promoted, he became rigsråd, statholder and rigshovmester, the last title in 1632, but this joy was short, the same year he got extremely drunk in a party at Rosenborg castle by Christian IV and drowned in the waterfilled moat, only 28 years old.

The farm went to Frantz Rantzau's halfbrother Cai Rantzau's widow Anne Lykke, who was observed for her open advances of the heir to the throne and later was married to Knud Ulfeldt of Ulfeldtsholm. He sold Næs in 1637 to rigsmarsk Jørgen Urne, who owned the farm until his death in 1642. The next year his widow Margrethe Marsvin let paint a picture of her blessed husband, herself and their 13 children, 5 sons and 8 daughters. In order to show that one son had died, he was painted in white clothes. The painting is an important work, it hung earlier in the chapel of the parish church, but was later moved to Lindenborg. Margrethe Marsvin finished some exchanges, among others with the Crown, and the peasant estate of Næs, and in 1647 she got jus patronus of Blenstrup church. She died in 1650 at Marsvinsholm at Turø, (island south of Svendborg, Funen), but was buried in Blenstrup church beside her husband.
Memorial stone for the various owners of Lindenborg, raised at Blenstrup church in 1955.
At her death Margrethe Marsvin left a large debt, and in order to meet this the children had to sell Næs, which was bought by rigsråd Jørgen Seefeld, landsdommer at Zealand and vasal at Ringsted kloster. He was the son of Christoffer Lauridsen Seefeld of Refsnæs, a neighbouring farm of Næs. He was born in 1594. His offices made him stay at Zealand, and he probably had little time for his Jutland manor. He was noticed for being a misogynist and bibliophilic. He was famous for his large book-collection, more than 26.000 volumes, which he had at Ringsted kloster. It was however lost during svenskekrigene, (Denmark's wars with Sweden) when Corfitz Ulfeldt made the Swedish king give him the book-collection and later let it bring to Malmø.

Lille Vildmose at Høstemark skov.

Jørgen Seefeld extended the adjoined estate of Næs considerably. He advanced the king with large sums in cash and provisions in the 1650s, and he got landed property as a pawn. He bought his maternal farm in Tustrup from his brother, and it was attached to Næs for a period. Some of the pawned estate he had from the Crown were Dronningborg, Hald, Ørum, Skivehus and Kalø vasalry. He earlier owned much more pawned estate, when he a few years before his death had economic difficulties and had to repawn several estate to his creditors. His rich estate seems to have rested upon an unstable base, and winding up the estate showed that he was ruined. Svenskekrigene had also contributed to this, for when the Swedes marched across Zealand towards the capital, Jørgen Seefeld had to take flight to Copenhagen , where he lived until his death by auktionsforvalter Caspar Rollufs, whom he got indebted to. About 50 creditors signed up at the estate after Jørgen Seefeld, of which only Corfitz Ulfeldt was a nobleman, the rest were civils. The main farm was divided between magister Hans Zoëga from Københavns Universitet and his brother-in-law Caspar Rollufs. They owned Næs, until Claus Olufsen Daa of Borreby and Vedtofte bought it in 1671-72.

Claus Daa changed the name of the farm to Daasborg, and at the same time he renamed Vedtofte into Brahesholm after his mother Anne Brahe. In 1674 Daa was married to Sophie Amalie Lindenov, who was a daughter of Hans Lindenov of Iversnæs and Christian IV's daughter with Kirsten Munk, Elisabeth Augusta. Both main farm and peasant-estate were in a bad condition after the svenskekrigene. Daa succeeded in a few years to collect most of the earlier adjoined property again, but his economic situation was bad and his marriage was worse. The conflict ended, when Sophie Amalie according to all accounts let her husband murder in 1678 by a sniper, when they drove together home to Daasborg after a visit in the neighbourhood. The murder was never solved, and the murderer never found. The common opinion was that it was "the evil lady", who had instigated the crime. On her deathbed however she was said to have confessed to be the instigator of the murder of Claus Daa.

The only child of the marriage was a one year old son, who died shortly after his father's murder, and the young widow now owned Daasborg completely to herself. Just as energetic she apparently had been getting rid of her husband, just as active she was now in order to extend and manage the estate. In the years after 1678 she bought much property in various parishes. Via a patent she was in 1681 admitted in the friherrestanden (barony) as friherreinde (=baroness) of Lindenborg, since Daasborg contemporarely was established to be a friherreligt vasalry by this name. The condition was that she did not marry again - and that Christian V's illegitimate son Christian Gyldenløve had to be installed as an heir of the barony. It seems difficult to understand, why Sophie Amalie Lindenov, who with cause was under suspicion of being a murderess, had earned the distinction as baroness. However it was decisive that the king in this way secured his illegitimate children. The following years the baroness continued to collect estate and enjoyed in this the full attention from the Crown. She owned jus patronus of several churches, and in 1683 she bought the right of still some churches from the Crown, which in the following period gave her still more income, in all at least 7000 rigsdaler.

As to her private life the legend has spun a yarn of painterly stories. The merry young widow did not live the life of a nun, but whether the number of her lovers, illegitimate children or daily misdeeds were as big as the gossip told, is probably doubtful. It was told about her last days that she was pregnant as so many times before and had problems in giving birth, and she was brought to a doctor in Ålborg. She could not endure the vibrations from the waggon and was transported in a horsecloth, which was stretched between four horses. An orchester followed her on the travel and played in order to drown her screams. However, her life could not be saved, and she died in terrible pain. Since then she has haunted Lindenborg, her grey figure walks stairs and corridors with flowing hair and clacking slippers at night. Reality hardly matches the dramatic legend. In the beginning of July 1688 she became ill at Lindenborg, and a month later she died in assessor Thøger Lassens Gård at Nytorv in Ålborg, where she had an apartment. The cause of death was "vattersot og hidsig feber" (dropsy and hot fever). In the exchange her possessions, furniture, clothes etc. was in all 1.254 rigsdaler.

Sophia Amalia's dramatic life and unhappy marriage is now described in a novel by Bodil Brændstrup. Historic facts about places and persons are correct, but BB has been adding a little more to the story which really rises a doubt about Sophia's guilt. After having read this book I don't think Sophia was gultiy in the murder of her husband Claus Daa. No one knows the truth, but Bodil Brændstrup has done a thorough research and contributed to a much more nuanced image of the beautiful and unhappy woman, Sophia Amalia Lindenov, who was the grandchild of Christian IV and Kirsten Munk.

The book is available (in Danish) on Forlaget BB-Kultur, Øverødvej 13-1-14, DK-2840 Holte.
the book's website:

After fru Lindenov's death the barony went to grev Christian Gyldenløve of Samsø and after his death to his son, the wellknown book collector Christian Danneskiold-Samsøe. Since Lindenborg did not mean more than a name and a yearly income, the farm and the adjoining churches fell into decay in this period. Neither Christian Danneskiold-Samsøe's son Frederik Christian Danneskiold-Samsøe showed interest in Lindenborg, and after a royal accept he abandoned and sold the barony in 1753. The barony-rights were kept for the estate as long a Danneskiold lived. Frederik V's influental councillor grev Adam Gottlob Moltke of Bregentved took over Lindenborg. In his time as owner the ferry across Lindenborg river was replaced by a bridge. In 1759 the king gave Lille Vildmose to his favorite on the condition that Moltke started a cultivation of the moor, and already the next year this work begun. The work by drying out the four lakes in the middle of the moor was almost finished, when Moltke in 1762 sold Lindenborg to Schimmelmann.

The new owner Heinrich Carl Schimmelmann managed through 20 years the economic politics of the Danish state and performed as a financier all transactions necessary for his politics. When he died he left a fortune of between 5 and 10 million rigsdaler. He was born in 1724 in Demmin in Pommerania. After being educated as a merchant he followed in 1774 Frederick II's army into Bohemia, established later a chemist's shop in Dresden and took over in 1756 the provisions of the Preussian army. In the middle of the Seven Year's War he suddenly fled in 1759 with his large fortune and took up residence in Hamborg. In 1761 he got attached to the Danish resident in Hamborg with right to be his successor. After in 1762 having provided large loans to the Danish government, he became the same year a member of the overskattedirektionen (=first office of taxes) etc. In 1768 he achieved the title of skatmester, and in 1759 he bought the Rantzau-family estate Ahrensburg, which was situated on Danish land outside Hamborg. In 1762 he bought the estate Wandsbeck in Holstein and Lindenborg in Jutland. He owned plantations in the Danish West-Indies and run a sugar refinery at Christianshavn (in Copenhagen) and a small-arms factory in Hellebæk. In Copenhagen he held a small court in his palais in Bredgade.

In 1764 Schimmelmann had Lindenborg established into a barony. He showed great interest in the management of the estate and bought more estate, but he was careful and did not buy until he knew the price was right. He bought several farms and peasant-land, and in 1773-80 he bought Fræer, a whole village. 150 peasants and 122 husmænd (small-holders) belonged to the estate. He was interested in the technical progress of the farming and carried through various improvements in the management of the main farm. Lindenborg's peasants had to work in the fields of the main farm, but also as work-reserves in his industrial activities. In 1781 a linen spinning mill was established, which later achieved a considerable size. In 1779 Schimmelmann was elevated to greve( count) and two years later Lindenborg became a lensgrevskab. (vasalry county). Schimmelmann died in 1782, and his eldest son took over Lindenborg.

Heinrich Ernst Schimmelmann, who was born in 1747, managed the Danish monetary matters as finansminister in 1784-1813. He became therefore one of the men, who was given a coresponsibility for the national bankruptcy, which ended this period. He had more sense of cultural phenomenons than his father, but as a landlord he was a supporter of the reform efforts of the period. He followed his father's footsteps at Lindenborg, but he seldom visited the castle. Ab. 1784 a gardener was employed to assist the peasants of the estate to lay out kitchen gardens, planting of hedgerows, potato-cultivation etc. The gardener also had to raise fruit trees, which were given to the peasants in order to promote the fruit growing. The spinning mill was extended. When Schimmelmann and his wife visited the estate in 1783, there was served a meal to the guests, only to the farmers and not to the peasants. Schimmelmann arranged a popinjay shooting and let dish out prizes "what was a great joy for the poor good people" his wife grevinde Charlotte Schimmelmann wrote in a letter to grevinde Reventlow.

Through the years a large renewal happened of the peasant-estate and the farms, but the reforms did not happen without problems. In a large village like Fræer the implementation was especially difficult. In 1798 Schimmelmann bought Gudumlund and some peasant-property. Around 1800 the reforms at Lindenborg were fairly established. After having taken over Gudumlund Schimmelmann continued for some years the large industrial plan, in 1805 he established a stoneware factory and a glass work, but they run economically bad and had to close. Besides the linen spinning mill at the grevskabet, which achieved good results, were in the beginning of the 19th century 8 blacksmiths living at the estate, who besides the blacksmith- and metalworker-work made hay scythes and knives, which were sold far and wide. There were also 20 potters, who were allowed to sell their pottery at all markets for many miles around.

In order to promote the health service Schimmelmann engaged a physician at Lindenborg and furnished a hospital for free use for the peasants at the estate. The educational system had his special interest, and he established a new school system at Lindenborg. The Schimmelmannske Schools, which built on the new Rousseau -methods of upbringing, were approved by royal respolution of 1876. Grev Schimmelmann engaged a school-inspector J.C.C. Claussen during the first years, and he succeeded in overcoming the resistance, which this "new thing" awoke by the peasants. The agricultural crisis, which followed the Napoleonic wars, meant hard times for the peasants at Lindenborg. And these years showed that Ernst Schimmelmann had not been able to stabilize or increase the immense riches he had inherited after his father. The fortune crumbled away, and after his death in 1831 it showed that his estate was insolvent.

When Schimmelmann died childless Lindenborg went to his brother's son Joseph Frederik Carl Schimmelmann, but he died already in 1833, and grevskabet was taken over by his son Ernst Conrad Ditlev Carl Joseph Schimmelmann. He was in 1853 allowed to sell the peasant-estate for free property. After his death his son Carl Gustav Ernst Schimmelmann inherited Lindenborg. He restored the castle, which for long had been uninhabited. At his death in 1922 the estate was taken over by lensgreve Heinrich Carl Schimmelmann, to whom the grevskabet in 1923 became free estate, where a piece of land was transferred for outparcelling. The northern section of Lille Vildmose was in 1936 sold to Statens Jordlovsudvalg.

Lille Vildmose at Portland

Upon the main wing's octagonal tower inside the castle yard is a tablet above the door with an inscription, which says that honest and velbyrdig (of noble descent) man Corfitz Viffert and Anne Gyldenstierne let build this house in 1583. A legend describes about the building that Anne Gyldenstierne, who actually had no deep feelings for Corfitz Viffert, imposed as conditions for the marriage that he had to build a building in the swamp at Næs. This condition was met to her great surprise, and a magnificent building raised from the marsh. The legend is a typical urban legend and is probably only connected to Næs because of the difficult spadework, which was necessary to make the moist meadow-land bear the large building.

The large house, which Corfitz Viffert built, was raised in two storeys, above which was placed a low half-storey. The building was in bricks and rested upon a heavy granite plinth. Under the house were large vaulted cellars. At the southeast and southwest corner were two circular corner towers and to the south was the passage flanked by two bay towers. In the castle yard was an octagonal spiral stair tower. All windows had sandstone frames and in the triangular window recess were sandstone sculptures. The facade was probably originally red or red-painted wall. The eastern wing of the main building is the oldest, but its age cannot be completely decided. It has wall work from the Catholic period, but an older description claims that it was built by Jørgen Urne. His and Margrethe Marsvin's names were found in 1769 upon a walled gate between the eastern and southern house. The northern wing was built by Corfitz Viffert contemporary to the southern house.

It seems that the buildings already in fru Lindenov's time were badly kept, and in the following time they were completely in decay. The owners did not stay at the estate; it was managed by farm bailiffs. In a description of the conditions in Himmerland in 1735 it is said about Lindenborg, that it is very much in decay but " it was once a pretty building, which was brick-built even in the horse stables." In March 1715 a violent storm swept across Himmerland, and the buildings at Lindenborg were badly damaged. The repair, which was made the same year, cost 525 rigsdaler. There are no informations about the interior of the farm at that time. In 1764 H.C. Schimmelmann let the main wing have a thorough repair, and the building got mainly the look it has today. Corfitz Vifferts fine Renaissance building lost its proud raising by these changes. In 1925-27 the owner of the castle let do a thorough restoration of the inner castle, which partly brought it back to its old look. Among the inventory is much valuable furniture from the 18th century and a French writing desk, which according to tradition belonged to queen Christina of Sweden. From the collection of paintings is a Madonna by Rafael.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 11, Himmerland og Ommersyssel, 1966, Lindenborg af cand. mag. Jens Sølvsten.

Lindenborg today

photo Lindenborg og Lille Vildmose: 2003/2006/2009: grethe bachmann