Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rye church / Rye kirke, Tyrsting herred, Skanderborg amt.

Rye church, 12 km northwest of Skanderborg
Rye sogn, Tyrsting herred, Skanderborg amt.

Rye church has a late Gothic longhouse with a modern porch to the north and a free-standing tower from 1912 east of the choir gable. The present late Gothic building is only a fragment of an almost cathedral-like church, and its complicated history all through the Middle Ages has its background in the pilgrimage to Sct. Sørens Kilde (spring) in Rye Sønderskov. At the place of the present church stood a small Romanesque church in granite boulder, granite ashlars and hard pan. This modest building was in the 1400s extended in several stages with a three-sided choir section, cross arms with three-sided altar rooms, with the now present nave, which was built in two building periods and finally with a large tower, which against usual custom was placed at the eastern end of the choir instead of the three-sided altar section - and with a new main altar under the tower vault. Thus the building achieved a full lenght of about 52 m and a broadth across the cross arms of 33 m. After the stop of the pilgrimages at the reformation the large building declined, and in 1637 -39 the "cross churches" were broken down. The upper section of the tower was damaged by fire in 1660, and in 1699 it was removed together with the eastern section of the church up to the present choir gable, which at this point was re-walled with various material, among others with several ashlars from the Romanesque building.

The present longhouse building is, except the eastern gable, built in red monk bricks in two halfs. The earliest from the first half of the 1400s are the two eastern bays with plinth of re-used granite aslars -below the cornice is a four-leaf clover frieze in black-glazed stones. To the north and south are walled-in pointed doors and large profiled pointed windows, partly out-walled with cast iron frames in the 1800s. Two cross vaults are from the first building period. Two buttresses stand by the western gable, while the others have been removed, they are traceable in the wall work. The small porch at the north door was built in the end of the 1800s. Upon the foundations of the old choir-tower was in 1911-12 built a new free-standing tower in large hand-made stones and with a high pyramid roof, designed by architect Hack Kampmann. In connection to the tower building was digged up the foundation of the disappeared eastern section, which is now marked as banks in the terrain.

The altar piece is a fine carved work in late Renaissance from 1630, put up by Herman Hansen and Anna Nielsdatter, Rye mølle(mill), with a painting from 1882. It was repaired in 1930. Old paintings from the 1700s hang in the church. Altar chalice from 1686 with the coat of arms of Ahlefeldt and Urne and the initials H. AF.-H.W. Two small, but heavy late Gothic candelabres, resting upon lion figures ; a larger candelabre, also late Gothic, was later equipped with 6 light-arms. Rests of an altar cloth with silver-embroidered year 1787 is preserved. A Gothic thurible from the beginning of the 1400s. A late Gothic, fine, but very skinny choir arch-crucifix from ab. 1520. A Romanesque granite font with lions of the Låsby-Vinderslev type, placed upon a new foot. A Netherland basin ab. 1625. The pulpit is a simple and heavy Renaissance work from 1632. Church ship: the brig "Johanne" from 1897. In the tower is a clockwork, which originally came from Frederiksborg slotskirke.

There are several grave memorials in the church. From Øm kloster two late Gothic grave stones: 1) portrait stone from ab. 1490, placed by abbot Christiern for bishop Svend, + 1191, a year 1183 refers to the bishop's will in favour of the kloster. 2) the last abbot of Øm kloster, Petrus Severinus (Peder Sørensen), + 1554, with emblem shield. In the wall of the tower is inserted a figure stone over Jens Hansen, Rye mølle, + 1665. It was found during the tower building. In the bottom room of the tower is preserved a grave tree, shaped like a tree trunk. Earlier were several like this in the church yard. Another is in "Den Gamle By" (Old Town) in Århus.

Øm kloster's (* ab. 1170 Carainsula, Øm, 1219, Øm) earliest history was written down by some monks in 1207-67: Exordium Carae Insulae, and is one of the most captivating Danish papers from the Middle Ages (translated by Jørgen Olrik in 1932). Ab. 1160 bishop Eskil of Århus agreed with abbot Henrik of Vitskøl (Vitae Scholae) to establish a Cisterciensian kloster in Århus stift.(district). It was established 16/2 1165 in Sminge, but the conditions were not good, and in 1166 the monks moved to the decayed Benedictine kloster in Veng, but here they were harrassed by an aristocratic lady and moved in 1168 to Kalvø. At last they found a permanent place in 1172 upon the landtongue, which separates Gudensø (lake ) from Mossø (lake). Here was Øm kloster established, consegrated to Virgin Mary and named cara insula, "the dear island". The first three abbots came from England, Germany and France and were closely connected to Vistskøl kloster, the 7.th abbot was Gunnar (1216-22), who later became bishop in Viborg and is remembered for his work with Jyske Lov (Jutland law) from 1241 (Valdemar Sejr's Jyske Lov). The Århus bishops Svend (+ 1191) and Peder Elafsøn (+ 1246) supported the kloster, and the last mentioned was buried in the new church, which at this time replaced the earliest buildings.

view from Rye church

Shortly after a feud started with the bishopric about the bishop's right to visit the kloster. This culminated in that the bishop in Veng church excommunicated abbot Bo and everyone, who addressed him abbot, whereafter the abbot at once stood up and released all from the excommunication. The abbot was supported by the pope, but the bishop by the king and the queen dowager. The chronicle ends here unfortunately, before the feud was settled, but probably has the kloster been forced to acknowledge the bishop's right to visit, whereafter the king in return acts as the protector of the kloster in 1270.

After the end of the chronicle (Exordium Carae Insulae) were only informations about the abbots and the estate history of the kloster. It was one of the richest manor klosters in the country, and it had estates far and wide. After the reformation Øm kloster was still in the management of an abbot, but from 1538 the Sorø-abbot had the supervision. In 1560 Øm kloster came under Bygholm (castle), and the buildings were changed into the royal castle Emborg, where Frederik II stayed for long periods in 1559-61. Emborg had to become a main residence in Jutland, but however the king preferred Skanderborg (castle), and 6/10 1561 he commanded that Emborg church and other attached buildings had to be demolished, and the materials had to be used in the re-building of Skanderborg slot. In 1565 Holger Rosenkrantz of Boller was allowed to break down a stable in Emborg, where the king's own horses had been and an attached house. Upon the place of the farm buildings were soon built peasant farms, and in 1571 the king began to rent the land of Emborg to the peasants. There was now only a chapel left from Øm kloster, where Verner Hess lived. This and an attached kålgård (cabbage garden) was given to his widow Marine Lauridsdater in 1579 as a life's letter. (to have for life)

The kloster site is situated low between Mossø (lake) and Gudensø (lake) to the north, to the east and west flanked by two parallel channels, which are still traceable, and which brought water from Mossø to Gudensø, giving water power to the kloster. An outer channel is mostly preserved. The place was used as a quarry, and after this the walls above the earth had disappeared. When the National Museum in 1896 made a small test excavation were found a couple of medieval graves, but not until Historisk Samfund (society) of Århus stift in 1911 had bought a part of the site, some yearly excavations began. The first was paid by the society, later by the National Museum, and partly by special supports from the State. The foundations of the kloster-complex were found in good state and could be recovered, a complete ground plan arose showing to be the most complete plan known of a Danish Cisterciensian kloster.

view from Rye church

The ground plan shows a kloster site from the middle of the 1200s. There were not found rests of the earlier buildings from 1172. Only granite boulder foundations are preserved with few rests of monk brick wallwork. To the north was the church, a three-naved cross church. Both cross arms had two chapels to the east and one to the west. In the southwest corner was a heavy foundation from a tower - since the church in spite of the Cisterciensian building rules - had a tower. There were 18 medieval graves in the church, like the Århus bishop Svend's (+ 1191) with a gold ring, silver cross and thuribles, abbot Mikkel's (+ 1246) grave and the Århus bishop Peder Elafsøn's (+ 1246), and a grave ascribed to the abbot Jens, known from the chronicle. In an economy building were traces of kitchen and bakery. The southern wing had a refectorium. 4 wells were excavated. There were many various buildings on the site and outside the channels were also found rests of various buildings, i.e. like a tail oven and a larger house.

For keeping of the excavated building parts etc. has Historisk Samfund in 1922-23 built a house, open to the public. The collection has from Alken and Skanderborg received several valuable granite-fragments, which origin from Øm kloster. Besides are in the small museum an exhibition of skeletons and parts of skeletons found in the excavations. In 1939 was at Øm raised a memorial stone for bishop Gunnar, whose life story was told by a monk from Øm.

In 1890-1933 were found 37 scattered coins from Valdemar II Sejr - Christian III.

In Øm kloster was a school, and when it was abandoned in 1560 Frederik II moved a corn tax from 10 parishes to a school in Århus as a support for 24 poor pupils.

In Rye was a royal hunting cottage under Skanderborg vasalry; it is often mentioned up till 1600, and 1573 and 1576 were royal letters issued from here. In 1617 ordered Chr. IV to break it down. The Crown had several workmen in the area; the king's coach builder in Rye is mentioned 1553; in 1582 established Frederik II a glass hut, where glaziers from Hessen worked; several place names still remind of the glass fabrication.

Rye mølle is mentioned from 1578, and the famous eel-fishing is mentioned already at that time.

Rye was an important town in the Middle Ages, which was mainly due to Øm kloster, and its importance was increased by its holy springs, Skt Sørens kilde at the entrance of Sønderskov, Præstekilden in Rye Nørreskov, Helligkilde south of the road going west of Rye and Hans kilde at Rye school. As a pilgrimage place is Rye mentioned already in 1405. The town was known for two meetings in 1534, on 4/6 met the Jutland councillors and offered hertug Christian their support, and 4/7 were the Jutland council meeting the Jutland nobility and delegates from the Funen nobility, and in spite of resistance from the bishops Mogens Gøye had Chr. III elected king. The town was supposedly a town with municipal rights, it is mentioned in 1536 as such. In Rye were the two yearly markets - which had moved from Rye to Horsens in 1579 - again moved back to Rye 1579. In 1616 is a market mentioned on Valborgsdag (Valburgis), in 1683 the markets moved to Skanderborg. Rye suffered large fires, i.e. in 1613, 1628 and 1660.

Listed prehistorics: 21 hills. In Rye Nørreskov is a group of 3 hills and in Rye Sønderskov two groups, each with 5 hills.

Names from the Middle Ages and 1600s:
Rye (Gammel Rye, o. 1400 Rythe, 1486 Ryde); Emborg (* 1561 Emsborrig, 1571 Emborg); Rye Mølle (1610 Rymølle) .

Demolished or destroyed: a longdolmen and two stone graves, 4 of these graves were east of Rye town; a dolmen chamber with found two thin-necked axes was found in the forest Højrisbøge. Furthermore 86 hills.

Rye is in the classic area of the Gudenå culture, and a large number of settlements from the primitive hunting and fishing people are known; some of the most important settlements are i.e Svejbæklund, Emborg bro (bridge), Provstholm Hoved, Povlsbakke, Lindholm hoved. A settlement from early Roman Iron Age is known from Rye.

Source: Trap Danmark, Skanderborg amt, 1964.

photos 2006-2008: grethe bachmann

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Eskjær, Salling, North Jutland, Viborg amt.

Eskjær, ab. 18 km north of Skive
Grinderslev sogn, Nørre herred, Viborg amt.

Eskjær was mentioned the first time in written sources in 1328, where hr. Jacob Nielsen (Gyldenstierne) of Eskjær is mentioned. The farm was later in the ownership of the family Banner. Eskild Nielsen and Peder Høg (Banner) are mentioned as owners in the middle of the 1400s. The last mentioned's son Niels Pedersen Høg became the owner of the farm. He was a wellknown man of that period. He is mentioned as rigsråd in 1487, and both king Hans and his son Christiern II used him often as public delegate. According to the Skibby Chronicle he was known as a priest-hater. Besides his public assignments Niels Høg had also time for his private interests. During the first ten years of the 16. century he gathered gradually large estates, a big part was in the neighbourhood of Eskjær. It seems he had achieved sole rights of Eskjær, although a thing-witness from 1501 indicates that his rights were denied by others.

At Niels Høg's death in 1524 his daughter Anna inherited Eskjær; she was married to Niels Jensen Rotfeld, who in 1540 transferred the farm to his son Jens Rotfeld. After his death as the last male member of the family Eskjær came to his sister Johanne, who was a widow after Hans Lykke of Havnø. She managed the farm until her death in 1577, and the son Erik Lykke took over. His son Hans Lykke got after his father's death in 1602 into a debt up to his ears; the farm was taken over by the creditors and forever taken from the Lykke-family. The new owner was Verner Parsberg, who died in 1643, and his son Niels Parsberg, married to Helle Gyldenstierne, was not an economic genius. He had to pawn Eskjær, and in 1664 it came to grev Christian Rantzau's heirs. At that time was Eskjær a large estate.

Eskjær was in 1674 incorporated into grevskabet (county) Løvenholm, but already in 1681 it was back in the ownership of the family Parsberg, since a son of the former owner, oberst Verner Parsberg, bought it. He sold however the farm in 1698 to Barbara Rantzau, but when he after the sale married the buyer, who brought him considerable riches, the sale had no practical importance. Verner Parsberg was also the owner of Skivehus, and he managed both this and Eskjær until his death in 1719. In the anecdote-litterature he was called a stupid and ignorant landjunker. (junker = German nobleman)This was undoubtedly not true; on the contrary he was one of the most active landlords in the district and one of few from the old nobility, who was able to maintain his position and also improve status in the tough times after 1660. After his death both estates were taken over by his son, ritmester Johan Parsberg, who died in 1730 the last male member of the family. He left both estates in a disrepaired state.

After Johan Parsberg Eskjær was taken over in 1735 by his stepfather gehejmeråd, president in the Supreme Court Claus Reventlow, who probably never resided at the decayed farm. He owned several manors. In 1790 he sold Eskjær to a former tenant at Krastrup, Mads Hastrup, who was the first middle-class owner. Hastrup succeeded in bringing the farm on its feet again before his death in 1761. He was also the building master of the present main building, which was built in 1761. Below the main wing in the cellar are still rests of a late Gothic building with thick walls. The cellar room has eight small cross-vaults upon three heavy, walled middle pillars. After a local legend these cellar rooms were the whereabouts of the three known witches "Thise Trolde", until they after the judgment were burned at the stake.

After Mads Hastrup's death in 1767 Eskjær was sold at auction to major Johan Chr. v. Geistler, who was married to a Lüttichau of Tjele. He was from an old German officer's-family, but he was not a skilled farmer, and he became gradually much indebted. In 1781 he sold Eskjær to the later justitsråd and generalkrigskomissær Christian Lange, who was one of that time's progressive men in agriculture and a son of another outstanding farmer, justitsråd Jens Lange of Rødkilde. He improved the neglected farm. All operations were changed, and he made some reforms of the estate in two cities/villages, where he was the sole owner. But it was not easy for him in the other part of the estate. He was involved in feuds with the other farmers, and he also insulted the peasants with his reform-eagerness.

Lange was eventually fighting with his peasants about the villeinage and the taxes, and in the posterity he was known as a bondeplager (harassing the peasants) He cheated the peasants when he measured the corn, he moved their field boundaries, and because of these misdeeds he had according to the old legend no rest in his grave; he haunted the farm, he slammed the doors and he was seen running in the Gåsemosen (moor) with the surveyer-sticks. A special legend is connected to Langesgård, which was built by him. According to royal statutory his peasants denied to bring the tax-corn to the end of the road, and when they discovered that their delivery -duty ended in the middle of Eskjær Mark (field), they just loaded the corn here. Lange swore an oath that the peasants had to bring the corn to the barn, and when this oath could not be fulfilled, he let build a barn above the unloaded corn. This barn was said to be the first beginning of Langesgård.

In 1797 Chr. Lange sold Eskjær and Langesgård to justitssekretær in Viborg, etatsråd Henrik Johan de Leth and Thomas Thomsen of Østergård, who in the following year left the common ownership and took over Langesgård. Leth sold all the peasant-property, but in 1828 the Danish state took over the farm as the holder of an unsatisfied mortgage. In 1830 was Eskjær bought by kammerråd A.C. Grønbech, and after his death it came to baron Joseph Emil Adeler. He sold in 1869 Eskjær to cand.jur. Ludvig Th. Schütte of Bygholm, after whose death in 1915 the farm was inherited by his son dr. phil Gudmund Schütte, who gave the main building a thorough restoration and built a new farm building. The area was increased, and the forest of Eskjær - which is the only worth mentioning in Salling - was re-planted. In 1953 Gudmund Schütte (+ 1958) transferred the estate to his son, Herluf Schütte, who bought more estate for Eskjær.

Danske slotte og herregårde, bd. 12, Nordvestjylland, Eskjær, af mag. art Svend Egelund.

foto Eskjær 2004: grethe bachmann