Saturday, August 28, 2010

Østergård, Salling, North Jutland, Viborg amt.

Østergård, ab. 19 km north of Skive
Åsted sogn, Harre herred, Viborg amt.

Queen Margrethe I spent the first half of the year 1408 in Jutland, where she with a large entourage of trusted men went from place to place. Whereever she came, new crowds of clericals and secular gentlemen joined her entourage for a shorter or longer period, partly to bask themselves in her favour , partly to settle important business, which was not always of the most pleasant sort. In the month of January the queen stayed in the old royal town Viborg. From here she crossed Thy, where she guested Ørum castle and the now long gone Hillerslevhus - and after having visited Børglum Kloster she arrived in Hjørring in the month of March, from where she continued her travel south to Ålborg, Randers and Århus. At Midsummer-time queen Margrethe was back at Zealand, probably very satisfied with the achieved results. She had won back much royal estate, which was lost during the turbulent times, and she had secured the friendship of the clergy by giving them costy gifts.

Among those who had to show up at the meeting with the queen in Viborg was "Niels Mikkelsen of Nissum, a knight called Krabbe" - he probably did not meet up voluntarily, since he had much on his conscience. His men had broken the church-peace at Kobberup church, and he had himself together with his maternal uncle Niels Kaas and several others repeatedly broken the thing-peace on Fjends herreds Thing. (district-thing.) He therefore had to make amend, but the "the gracious Lady" let him go, if he gave her some estate in Fiskbæk and elsewhere, which unlawfully had been taken from the Crown. If hr. Niels could have lived for another 100 years, he would have enjoyed to see that one of his descendants, rigsmarsk hr. Tyge Krabbe won back this estate by not so fine means - his greatgrandfather would probably have liked that.

Hr. Niels Krabbe returned to Nissum very bad tempered, it was not the first time the queen had been pursuing him. His fortificated castle could not secure him against her and his mighty family neither. The castle was placed north in Salling. The theory is that the small square castle bank, rising steeply from the slope east of Hinnerup Å (river) at Åsted village, which later was called Holmshøj or Sallingholm castle, was his home. It is not easy to see, why he is called "from Nissum", since this village is placed upon the other side of the river and earlier was divided from Holmshøj by both a river and a meadow. From the castle bank a road dam leads northwest out into the meadows where still are seen weak rises ; here were found heavy, driven in poles - the rests of a pile castle, which might have been the successor of the castle bank inland.

The family Krabbe is old in Salling, where it besides Nissum or Østergård owned several manors, like Lundegård at the island Fur, Hostrup, Bustrup, to which the rigsmarsk (Tyge Krabbe) wrote himself, and several others, aldso Krabbesholm. Much indicates that the old members of the family was an unruly and violent flock, who reminded about the family Brock at Gammel Estrup. This nature is also recognizable in the family's most distinguished member Tyge Krabbe, but else made the family their mark by indisputable competence and later also by having spiritual interests. The family was connected to Nissum for a long period. Niels Mikkelsen Krabbe was hardly the first member of the family who lived there - the earlier generations are fairly known - but he wasn't the last. Both his son Morten Krabbe, who was a High Court Judge and owned a rich estate, (+ ab.1483), and his son Glob Krabbe, also named Lucas Krabbe, lived in Nissum, but the old castle was abandoned. Glob Krabbe established the farm (manor) Østergård south of Åsted upon the other side of the river and built the heavy Gothic building, which still stands today. It is one of few manor buildings from the time before the reformation, which has kept its look almost unchanged up till the present.

The manor was built upon a flat, square bank, surrounded by banks and moats, which were kept water-filled by dams. The building is four-winged and includes a small yard, only 8,75 m each square. It is built in late Gothic style in bricks upon a high plinth of raw granite boulder and with a cellar under the whole two-storeyed building. It is said that an inscription was upon a beam in the yard saying that Lucas Krabbe put down the first stone for this foundation in 1516. On the gables of the south wing were earlier a couple of hanging bays , possibly "hemmeligheder" (secrets = toilets). Behind the 2-3 feet thick walls the unruly Krabbes could feel secure towards wronged class companions and peasants. When the peasants in Grevefejden (civil war) ravaged in Salling and let "the red cock"crow (fire) on the castles of their oppressors, they probably also wished to chase the squire of Østergård away from his home, but if they tried to, they probably failed. Later was no need to have a fortificated castle like this, but banks and moats were kept until the 19th century. Now is only a small rest left.

Glob Krabbe died a few years after the reformation (1543)and was buried in Åsted church, where his wife was also buried, and where a head stone reminds them. He had feuds with his peasants till the end. Their son Iver Krabbe (+ 1561), who in his youth had the family's hot blood in his veins, became a rich man, rigsråd and the holder of several important vasalries. He and later his widow bought much estate in exchange with the Crown. This estate was situated near the farm, and he also achieved free birkeret (judicial rights) of all estate in the parish a year before his death. This right followed Østergård until 1688. He probably built the last two wings of the manor.

After his death his widow fru Magdalene Banner kept the farm, she followed her husband to the grave in 1597 and was buried by his side in Åsted kirke. She had given vaults and a new pulpit to the church. It seems that she before her death gave Østergård to her daughter Anne Krabbe, who from 1580 was widow after rigsråd Axel Viffert and later was married to Erik Kaas of Vorgård in Himmerland (+ 1598). She died childless in 1625, but the heirs did not accept the inheritance. Østergård was not taken over by strangers though, it came to her sister's daughter Otte Lindenov of Borreby's widow Anne Tygesdatter Brahe, (+ 1636), and when her son Otte Ottesen Lindenov's widow fru Vibeke Clausdatter Podebusk (+ 1645) - who had a livsbrev (ownerrights for life) on the farm - in 1639 married hr. Knud Ulfeldt of Svenstrup, who was killed in the war 1657, the farm came to him and then to his stepson, kammerherre Christian Lindenov,who was amtmand (district) in Norway and the last of the Krabbe-descendants who owned the old family-farm.

Åsted church

Østergård was in a bad state after the war; 9 farms in Nissum village were destroyed. Christian Lindenov pawned Østergård to the wellknown priest at Vor Frue Kirke in Copenhagen, magister Erik Olufsen Torm, whose widow Søster Worm, a daughter of the famous professor Ole Worm, in 1673 took over farm and estate, which was confirmed by the Supreme Court two years later. The saga of the old nobility was over, and middle-class families moved into Glob Krabbe's old castle. During the latest century it had often been uninhabited and neglected, sometimes owned by people, who lived far away, and sometimes by poor people, who could not pay their bills. Søster Worm managed the farm by a tenant, and after her death in 1685 it came to her son-in-law Jens Henriksen, but times were unfortunate, and he ended up in big debts. He had to pay his peasants with corn and give them horses. This was expensive and he never got anything back.

In 1694 Jens Henriksen had to give up. He sold Østergård to tenant Anders Hansen Høyer at Astrup. He was an indebted man, who had 19 children with three wives, whom he hardly could give food and clothes. He stayed however at the farm until his death in 1727, and the estate went to one of his creditors, the rich mayor Christen Jensen Basballe in Århus, who let it manage by a tenant for about 20 years. It was said that when he grew old, he was so stingy that corn and bullocks piled up at the farm, because he wanted over current price for both this and that. After his death Østergård had several owners. In 1758 it was sold to Niels Andersen Qvistgård.

Qvistgård died only 5 years later, and his widow Johanne Marie Batum brought the farm to her second husband Christian Kjærulff, who in vain tried to sell it. When both he and his wife had died in 1777 in Nykøbing (Mors), where they lived for several years, Østergård was bought by his stepsons Jens og Anders Nielsen Qvistgård. The last mentioned was sole owner in 1786, since Jens had bought a farm in Himmerland. Anders Qvistgård was dependent on alcohol and once caused a scandal when drunk in Åsted kirke, but else he was seemingly a solid Jutland farmer, who took care of his estate and tried to introduce improvements. In order to have disposal over the water - which run in abundance through his meadows and moors - he outbought at a costy expense the copyholder of Nissum Water Mill and let it replace by a wind mill. This showed to be a profit, but else were his improvements hardly radical enough.

Farm buildings close to Østergård, disfiguring the old medieval castle
The ferry to the island Fur north of Åsted and Østergård.

The farm was managed by villeinage until 1805, when all the estate was sold. The main part was already in Iver Krabbe's time in Åsted parish, another part in the neighbouring parishes. While the estate was still complete, the added tiender (taxes) changed all the time. Knud Ulfeldt had a couple of churches added to the farm in 1640, but they were lost in 1673. In 1699 Anders Høyer got a deed on Åsted kirke from the king, but this did not follow the farm permanently. Anders Qvistgård owned the kirketiender (church taxes) of Åsted and Nautrup parish and held the royal taxes of the same parishes, but in 1806 only the two churches were part of the farm. Anders Qvistgård died already in 1792; the following year farm and estate came on auction and sold to Thomas Thomsen of Vindum Overgård. He had moved to Jutland from Funen some years ago, and he gradually became the owner of several big farms in Jutland.

In the beginning of the following century it was told that Østergård, Eskjær and Astrup were the only manors in Salling with a dairy. Thomsen had been a co-owner of Eskjær, the other part belonged to his relative. In 1804 Thomsen sold the whole estate, for which he had paid rigsdaler, to three speculators, who paid 100.000 rigsdaler. After a royal licence they sold the copyhold-estate and let in 1806 the main farm and the taxes go back for 56.500 rigsdaler to the previous owner, who kept it until his death in 1823, after which the wellknown studefeder (he was making bullocks fat!) Nis Nissen of Spøttrup became the owner. After him followed kammerråd Hans Tørsleff (1836-46). During the next 100 years the farm had several owners: kammerherre Ernst Emil Rosenørn (1855-71), Johan Chr. Brinck-Seidelin (1871-85), Erik Oscar Julius Hedemann of Nyholm (1885-90), Vallø Stift, who sold it in 1906 to lieutenant Axel Lemming Froberg, who owned Østergård for more than 36 years , until he sold it in 1943 to greve Adam Cyrille Knuth, Hesselbjerg. In 1945 Østergård was bought by a consortium, where J.M.Skov became the sole owner. Owners in 1966 Kristen and Kjeld Skov.

Source: Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 12, 1966, Nordvestjylland, Østergård, by arkivar, cand.mag. S. Nygård.

Østergård i dag:
In the summer 1998 was the Danish State ready to take over the very decayed buildings. Restorations started in June 2000 with an expected finish in the castle's 500 years jubilee in 2016!

photo Østergård og Åsted 2004: grethe bachmann

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