Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gram Castle/ Gram Slot, Sønderjylland, Haderslev amt.

Gram slot, Sønderjylland
ab. 25 km west of Haderslev 
Gram sogn, Frøs herred, Haderslev amt.

The district around Gram is an old cultural area, and in Gram parish was a large farm in the Middle Ages. In the beginning of the 1230s - while the main part of the document was made in king Valdemar's Jordebog - was this farm the king's estate, it was as big as 3-4 common peasant-farms.  Like other properties of the king the farm was also the Crown's estate. Gram played early an important role as a castle, and its strategic situation close to the beaten track, and close to an important crossing  by a river meant that it was fortificated early, but it also meant that it played a part in the many battles and wars, which swept over this part of the country in the Middle Ages.

At that time was the farm placed about 3 km longer to the northwest. Here is still seen the old and very delapidated castle bank, which held the oldest fortificated Gram. According to a tradition the castle was built in 1314 by hertug Erik of Sønderjylland, who had the farm in custody. The bank lies desolate in the southwestern outskirts of Gram Storskov (forest) out in Hornbæk eng (meadow) like a circular, low rise, only a few km from the road. 

The hertugs (dukes) of Sønderjylland were in periods of the 1200s at Gram - and in 1317 the king renounced all the Crown's estate in Sønderjylland. In 1347 is mentioned Jonas Iversen Vind of Gram, he was probably bailiff at the farm, maybe for the Holstein grafs, who at that time owned most of the Jutland peninsula. According to the historian Huitfeldt it was endowed to Erland Kalv, who in 1372 was at Riberhus as the hand of the Holstein grafs and fought against the lord at Gram, maybe because the lord was loyal to the king, or maybe it was just a local feud. During this feud decided the people of the town Ribe at their city-thing that no one in the town were allowed to bring goods or commodities to Gram. An immigrate from the Rheinland tried to bring some contraband to Gram, and this cost him his life. The most interesting in this connection was that the article he brought to Gram was a mixture of sulphur and salpetre, named "bøssekrud" (gunpowder), and the story about this affair is one of the oldest stories about the use of gunpowder in Denmark. Gram must at that point have been very strongly fortificated, since a castle like Riberhus considered it an opponent.

Supposedly had king Valdemar Atterdag during some of his reign Gram in his hands, but after his death the control went to the Holsteiners, and hertug Gerhard VI could in 1394 give Gram herred (district) as a pawned vasalry to the mighty Henneke Limbek of Tørning, who already earlier seems to have been in control of Gram castle.  In the beginning he had the castle as a vasalry, but later he and his son became the owners of Gram. Henneke Limbek was a son of Valdemar Atterdag's drost Claus Limbek and like him he was a political opportunist. He followed hertug Gerhard on the expedition to Ditmarsken og was killed here at his master's side in 1404. Henneke Limbek resided mostly at Tørning, he let Gram be managed by bailiffs - in 1398 is mentioned væbner Henrik Raspe. In 1399 Henneke Limbek is written on two deeds "of Gram", which indicates that he also resided here in periods.

The son Claus Limbek the Young, who took over Gram, was alike his father and grandfather. He also followed alternating political lines, soon against king Erik of Pommern - and at last the king summoned him for treason at Gram herred's Thing and in front of his bridge at Tørning, but since he did not arrive, he was summoned the second time. Claus Limbek now joined openly the Holsteiners, since he in 1421 from hertug Henrik had a livsbrev (letter for life) on four districts of Tørning , the so-called Tørning vasalry. This was an acknowledgement from the grafs in their role as hertugs of Schleswig. The break with the king was not possible to mend now, and Claus Limbek had to defend hinself at Tørning against the king's armies. He died a few years later when Tørning vasalry in 1428 with a pawn of 4.550 mark was transferred by the hertugs Gerhard and Adolf to hr. Henrik Ahlefeldt, who was married to his sister Catharine.

Gram disappeared from the Limbek family, since Claus Limbek probably did not leave any children,  but it was not Henrik Ahlefeldt who owned Gram. A few years after the last Limbek had died, it was Joakim Bjørnsen Bjørn from the wellknown Funen noble-family and probably son of queen Margrethe's faithful man, the knight Bjørn Olufsen Bjørn, who became the lord of Gram. After his death in ab. 1467 Gram went with his daughter Sophie to Tielluf (Ditlev) Reventlow from the Holstein line of the family, which now owned Gram for about 100 years, son after father.

Ditlev Reventlow was an energetic politician and collector of estate. After his death Gram was inherited by his son Joachim Reventlow who died in 1519 and was followed by the son Johan (+ 1563). The last Reventlow left only daughters, and Gram then came into the hands of a son-in-law Ditlev Buchwald of Pronstorf in Holstein. From his time is kept more information about the conditions at the estate than before. At the main farm were 150 oxes and 50 cows besides many horses, young cattle and sheep  - and in the forests were fattened up about 1000 oldensvin. (pigs living from mast). Furthermore were several farms, a mill and an inn  
a part of the estate.

Rhododendron in the park

The younger sons of Ditlev Buchwald were given Gram as their paternal inheritance. At this point the farm Nybøl was taken out as an independent property, which was the cause of century-long feuds between the owners of the two farms. From 1585 the owner of Gram was Christoffer Buchwald, who was called "Christoffer the Tall". In 1585-1630 were made economical improvements at Gram, and the main land was three- or four-doubled . Christoffer Buchwald was followed in 1614 by his son Ditlev Buchwald, under whom Gram became very indebted.  He sold (probably in the year 1638) the estate to Christian IV, who shortly after transferred it to the strange adventurer Dionysius von Podewils, who had been married to Christoffer Buchwalds' daughter Anne. 

Von Podewils was the most interesting owner of Gram since the Limbek-family's time. He was born in 1590 in Pommeranian and was from a noble family. He had in his youth been on many foreign universities and had travelled all over Europe. When he was 26 years old, he served as a hofmarskal by hertug Hans the Young of Sønderborg, 2 years later by hertug Adolf of Gottorp and later by the Gottorp hertug Frederik III. At this time Christian IV was  aquainted with him and valued him, he made him hofmarskal in 1634 by den udvalgte prins ( crownprince), where he was given the job to manage his wedding to princess Magdalene Sibylle.  In this period he became the owner of his first wife's paternal farm Gram. Ab. 1641 he gave up his office by the crownprince and crownprincess and was until his death serving the king as a very used diplomatic negotiator. 

He still had a good relation to the crownprince, and he died on  a travel with him in 1647 in Dresden. He left his wife of second marriage, Cathrine Hedevig  Ahlefeldt from Søgaard (+ 1680). He had in his home at Gram an excellent library, which was destroyed by the Swedes in 1644, and the Swedish vandalism at the estate shook Podewil's not especially strong economy. His son from second marriage Gregers von Podewils was only a child at his father's death. The family had to sell Gram at a compulsory sale in January 1664 to rigsgreve Christoffer Rantzau, but he transferred it already the next day to rigsfeltherre Hans Schack of Møgeltønder, in whose male line it stayed until 1821.

When Hans Schack took over Gram a new and bright period began in the historiy of the ancient farm. He was an energetic collector of estate and a wise administrator. His history actually belongs to Schackenborg castle, since Gram was considered a small estate. He bought at once some peasant-estate and started negotiations with king Frederik III about buying a large number of farms and houses in Haderslev amt, which belonged to the Crown. In June 1664 he bought 68 farms and houses, which were called Ny Gram (New Gram) but the farms were in a bad condition after the Swedish wars -  and only a rich man like Hans Schack was able to make the estate alive again. The estate was now almost doubled and much better off. Later in 1673 gave Christian V  Hans Schack the churches in Gram and Fole and the yearly income from these, which actually was a small income.  

The building at Gram was in a very bad condition when Hans Schack took over. At that time Gram had already been moved from the old castle bank. In the eastern wing of the present three-winged castle are rests of a building in late Gothic style. Hans Schack rebuilt Gram, and his and his wife's coat of arms are seen on a sandstone-tablet in the front of the building. He died in 1676 and was followed by his son Otto Didrik, lensgreve of Schackenborg (+ 1683). In fact there was a competition between Gram and  the main residence Schackenborg. Gram was more cosy and with a more idyllic situation, several owners resided for long periods at Gram -  and the place was always used as a dower house. Otto Didrik Schacks' widow, the spiritual and energetic Sophie Dorothea, born Marschalck, lived here after 1683. She had a close friendship with the members of the royal house,especially the women,  and she was very popular far and wide. The kurfyrstinde (kurfyrst = Elector) of Hannover wanted in 1702 to have her as a member of her court-staff, but no until two years later she gave up her peaceful life at Gram and became overhofmesterinde by queen dowager Charlotte Amalie. 

Grevinde Sophie Dorothea loved Gram and did much to make the place prettier. She was interested in the garden. It was in fashion during this period. She extended it and decorated it with avenues, terasses and all kinds of water fountains, even a water-fall. In the end of the middle avenue she built an Italian salon with a grotto. From the kitchen garden lead an avenue to a small grove with lovely walking paths. In the castle lake she had a large rowboat, it was large enough to hold a dinner table for 20 persons. This knowledge about Gram is due to an enthusiastic story from an intelligent traveller, the British envoy Vernon, who visited Gram in 1702. He is filled with admiration of the garden, where he found the prettiest promenades he had ever seen, and he is not less enthusiastic about the garden's creator Sophie Dorothea. He is more than taken in by the beautiful and natural way in which he - although not invited - was recieved, and he acknowledges her spirit and learning. Sophie Dorothea died shortly after having moved to Copenhagen in 1707, only 51 years of age, and the eldest son, Hans Schack the Young, became the owner, but 3 years later his wife died in childbirth at Gram after having given birth to the future lensgreve Otto Didrik. 

Anne Sophie, born Rantzau, became Hans Schack's second wife, and she gave more than anyone else lustre to Gram. She removed Gram from the lensgrevskab  by in 1736 buying it from her stepson, the lensgreve at Schackenborg. She let do some thorough rebuild of Gram and gave it its  present look. From her time origins the fine fir-planting in the park- the oldest firs in Denmark. She became a widow, when she was only 30 years old,  and during the 41 years she still lived she became one of the 18th century's greatest collectors of estate in the country .In the same year when she became the owner of Gram she bought from admiral C.C.Gabel the Zealand properties Giesegaard, Spanager and Ottestrup. In 1752 she bought Juellund and two years later Nybøl, which thus again was reunited with Gram. In Copenhagen she bought the Thott-palace and one of the Amalienborg-palaces , where she finished the palace, which later was called Christian IX's palace. She also bought a farm in Ribe.     

This energetic lady was very strict towards her peasants. She overburdened them with villeinage-work and tried to raise their taxes. The peasants however were stubborn and demanded their rights and protested by striking. She used the economic and judicial power she had as a landlord, but it seems that she did not use violent steps. The peasants' hatred had grown so strong that she after her death was referred to as "the evil grevinde". She had built several schools for the village children at the Gram estate, but this was not enough to reconcile the peasants. In her last years she wanted to sell her farms in Sønderjylland and sold them in 1759  to her stepson's son, lensgreve Hans Schack, whom she wanted to leave the Amalienborg-palace. Hans Schack told her that he could not afford this palace, and the old lady became angry and offered to rebuy the estates he had just bought from her. At last he let her have the estates again and took over the Amalienborg-palace. But the old lady could not forget and forgive. A few days before her death on 28. Septemer 1760 she made a will where all her estate in Sønderjylland and at Zealand had to be inherited by a brother of Hans Schack, namely greve Frederik Christian Schack (born 1736) and the will said that if he died without heirs the properties at Zealand had to go to Frederik's Hospital and Gram and Nybøl to Ribe Hospital. They must no go to Hans Schack at Schackenborg!

Grev Frederik Christian Schack was heavily in debt and the inheritance came to him as a lovely surprise, although he could not have the estate until its debt had been paid. The administration of Gram  succeeded however to get rid of the debt. In 1773 took grev Frederik over. He had a special interest in the garden and drafted some gardeners from abroad. In those years came some radical general improvements for the farmers and peasants . When Schack in 1774 had managed a contract with the peasants, he leased out Gram and Nybøl. Gram's fields were now split up in parcels, which were leased out to a tenant. In 1777 his estates were changed into the entailed estate Giesegaard and this Zealand manor became his residence. Gram was after this closely connected to Giesegaard. He died in 1790, and until 1798 were his properties administered for his underage heir by his widow grevinde Ida Schack, née Scheel Bille and major Rosenkrantz. 

Is he catching gold fish?

His son grev Knud Bille Schack took over in 1798 and in his period was Gram leased out. He was not popular by the peasants at Gram, since he tried to regulate their taxes after a new price increase. But there were several improvements at Gram during his ownership. After his death in 1821 the entailed estate Giesegaard went to his sister's son Henrik Adolf Brockenhuus and was the year after adopted into the grevskab (county) Brockenhuus-Schack. His properties were under private adminisration and Gram was in his time managed by kammerherre von Krogh. Grev Henrik died in 1847, and grev Knud Bille Ludvig Anton Brockenhuus-Schack took over the entailed estate. In his time were made several improvements of the estate. Both grev Knud and his succesor from 1892, the son grev Adolf Ludvig Brockenhuus-Schack (+ 1938) were of great importance to the district caused  by their national example, and Gram became a center of the Danishness. Grev Adolf let in 1905-06 the castle restore and the garden plan was re-laid. He was much more interested in Gram than his predecessors and the castle was used much more than before. The various farms in the estate were still leased out to tenants. 

In 1945 was the owner A/S Gram and Nybøl godser. 

Danske Slotte og Herregårde, bd. 16, Sønderjylland,  1967, Gram slot, lektor dr. phil Vilhelm Lorenzen

photo Gram slot, May 2007: grethe bachmann

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Stubberkloster and Sevel church / Sevel kirke, Ginding herred, Ringkøbing amt.

Stubberkloster, in 1274 monasterium Stubbethorp, was a nunnery, possibly of the Benedictine order, consecrated to Virgin Mary. It was built upon a land tongue in the western part of Stubbergård lake. It was mentioned for the first time in 1268 in a will. In 1274 the earlier marsk Jens Kalf of Vinderupgård was conveyed with Stubberkloster by fru Lucie,  if he would supply the kloster and some neighbour-churches with bread and wine. In the middle of the 1400s the kloster got a farm, Grundvadsgård in Ramsing parish, from the knight Lyder Kabel. In 1504 the kloster pawned Savstrup farm and mill to Niels Clementsen. The kloster owned Haderup and Trandum churches and probably also Sevel, Sahl and a few others. Known prioresses were Christina Palsdatter in 1457 and 1459, and Else Munk and Elsebe Ryttersdatter in 1547.The prior managed the estate and the support of the nuns, and he was usually a secular nobleman. But there is not much information left about the history of the kloster.

During the reformation period Stubberkloster was plundered three times, and in 1532 a citizen of Holstebro took Stubberkloster from master Christen Hvid and drove him out. In 1536 it was taken over by the Crown, and in the same year Mogens Kaas of Stubberkloster is mentioned, but in 1538 it was endowed to magister Iver Kjeldsen Juel. He was obliged to support the 12 nuns still living there. He bought the kloster in 1547 with added property (ab. 150 farms and small farms) from the Crown and established a main farm in the name Stubbergård. After his death S. went to his widow Mette Munk (+ 1589) and the children Maren Juel (+ 1624) and Kjeld Juel ( + 1606), whose widow Christence Juel ( + 1658) married Kjeld Krabbe (+ 1612) and after him Knud Gyldenstierne (+ 1638) who in 1620 and 1627 wrote himself of S.

road to the kloster
Stubbergård lake

The heirs demanded administration of the estate in 1640, and it was decided in 1641 that the farm had to be divided: a "brother-part" to late Frederik Munk's heirs, a "sister-part" to Mogens Ulfeldt's widow Anne Munk and a "sister-part" to the late Johan Rantzau's children. After fru Christence's death the farm was divided in 1662 among the many heirs, among whom are mentioned Jacob Ulfeldt of Nr. Karstoft, jomfru Anne Cathrine Akeleye (+ unmarried 1707), who lived at the farm for a period; Claus Sparre of Sdr. Tanggård, who was married to her sister, jomfru Anne Munk of Haraldskær, and Frank Rantzau of Estvadgård. Jacob Ulfeldt's part was later shared among his four daughters, Maren, Mette (married to Enevold Kaas of Lyngholm) Dorte and Anne Margrethe. One part of the farm was in 1703 at an auction after P.Benzon of Havnø sold to Erik Jacobsen Juel ( + 1721) . After some buying and selling the farm was collected in three large parts: 1) Anne Cathrine Akeleye's part, with additions, which she bought from Anne Munk's heirs. She willed the farm and estate to Henrik Jørgen Huitfeldt ( + 1751), who in 1707 conveyed it to Christen Linde of Volstrup . His son R.H.Linde of Rosborggård conveyed it in 1744 to Morten Quistgård, who lived at S. in 1750.

Stubbergård lake

Stubbergård came in 1821 with peasant-estate and taxes at an auction, but since there were no buyers the estate was sold, and in 1826 the main farm was sold to Viborg Stiftsøvrighed, which at once sold it to N.L. Boserup of Vinderup Ladegård. He started some outparcelling and conveyed the main parcel and other parcels to his son Jacob Boserup, who moved the farm and in 1870 sold it to M Skow. After much buying and selling during the 1800s it was in 1915 sold to a consortium, which outparcelled the estate. The main parcel owner was in 1965 C.M.J. Kudahl. The old Stubbergård and the large plantations were bought by director Valdemar Lausen and belonged in 1965 to his daughter grevinde Vibeke Knuth, Vosnæsgård.

The kloster site and building  to the left
 Stubberkloster had a desolate place in very scenic surroundings upon a small islet in Stubbergård lake, an islet, which is now connected with land. Some rests of the kloster-building are preserved, and with the support from Iver Juel's archives and excavations by the National Museum in ab. 1920 is the size of the plan  mainly possible to realize. The kloster-building was a four-winged rectangular plan, placed on the high part of the islet, while the lower part was an abildgård (apple orchard), and the economic buildings were placed here to the south. The church, which like the other buildings of the reformation period was thatched and very decayed, was undoubtedly also placed to the south, but it is not possible to see its plan. There was also another kloster-building to the south, but both the church and this building were probably demolised by Iver Juel, who built a gate wing here in 1545. From the west wing of the kloster is the bottom storey still preserved, built into the steep side of the islet. The building is 16,6 x 7,8 m and has a large vaulted hall with a brick floor and in the walls are niches, possible meant for saints- figures This room must have been a beautiful hall in the kloster.
The hall

 In an excavation were in 1920 found four baking ovens. The building is probably from the beginning of the 1400s. It is in red monk bricks upon a foundation of raw field-stones. In ab. 1800 stood only a long thatched house,which in 1870 was sold for demolishion to the peasants in the area, and at that point was the  kloster-archive from the kloster-period destroyed. In order to protect the medieval room was built a small house, which in the beginning of the 20th century was replaced with the present uncovering, a large thatched roof, and at the same time and later was the building face walled.

 When Iver Juel bought the kloster it was very decayed, the north wing had disappeared and was probably burnt down. At this site he let build with use of the demolished Trandum church a fine fruerstue (ladies' house) with a tower; the building existed no longer in 1800. In an excavation were digged out some high walls. The ground plan of the east wing is seen in the terrain as a raised area continuing down to the lake. This must have been the bank, which fenced in the abildgård (apple orchard). Iver Juel mentions the stable and a new house near the lake. The kloster was plundered three times, and already before he bought it Iver Juel let it in 1545 be surrounded by moats, which were made deeper in 1552. The connection to land was by a barge, until Kjeld Juel built a bridge. He also rebuilt the farm building, which still stood at the islet  - and he probably also established the smitty, the mill and a sheep fold.

In 1807 burnt the east wing, in 1805 was the southern house demolished, and in 1834 the other buildings except the west wing, which stood until 1870. In 1849 built Jacob Boserup the present simple yellow-washed main building at New Stubbergård, which had its place in more fertile surroundings about 2 km northwest of the old kloster. At the old kloster and at New Stubbergård are kept some finely carved granite stone of medieval origin, they origin from the kloster and from Trandum church. In an excavation at the kloster-cemetery were found many skeletons, rests of rosaries and other objects.

Hjerl Hede

Hjerl Hede was in 1910 bought by and named from ex-minister of finance, H.P.Hjerl-Hansen. He had plans about planting. In 1931 the area was transferred to the Hjerl-foundation, founded in 1915, which in 1934 let the whole area with the beautiful land surrounding the lake Flyndersø be a nature conservation. In 1930 was here built Denmarks oldest peasant farm from Vinkel at Viborg, which was from before 1530, and this was the beginning of the Open Air Museum The Old Village. This holds several other fine old  village houses (farms, mills, smitty, inn, school, barns stables etc.) from various places in the country, brought here and rebuilt here, also a reconstruction of a Romanesque church, an Iron Age house and a few Stone Age huts. There have been laid out high-ridged medieval fields etc. In the summer period is seen how life was in the old village and in the prehistoric houses. It is a very popular place for Danes and tourists from abroad in the summer period. 

Listed prehistorics: Not less than 142 hills, and a 38 m long long-hill Døjs at Navtrup. Several hills are large: Salshøj in a group of 8 hills, Tophøj at Kokborg. South of Sevel a group of 10 hills, like Galgehøj, Haldhøj and Storehøj. At Gunderup is Troldhøj, at Herrup Tophøj and in Sevel plantation Råhøj. East of the lakes two large hills, Vinsøhøj at Hjelm heath, and at Mogenstrup near Skive Å-river valley, two large hills.
Destroyed or demolished: possibly a passage grave at Søndermølle, a find of two flint axes and a club might suggest this. In one of the Skårhøjene were found a battle axe, an arrow head, a bronze sword-blade etc., and under the hill were seen traces from a plough.

At Hellesø are several rich settlements from the Gudenåkulturen. At Herrup was examined a grave site with 24 stone-pile graves from early Stone Age. At Blakskærgårde was in a bog found two bronze-necklaces.

Sevel church (photo later)
The eastern and section of the choir and the nave are from the Romanesque period in granite ashlars at a profiled plinth. The church has a tower to the west and a porch to the south. Two Romanesque windows are kept in the choir. Both original doors are walled in. The church was after 1554 extended to the west with material from the demolished Trandum church and the tower in granite ashlars and monk bricks was added. The tower was heightened  in 1574 and finished in 1577. The tower room was originally vaulted, but it has now a flat ceiling like the choir and the nave, to which it is connected in a large round arch.the porch is a brick-building from 1765. The church is partly white washed.

In the communion tabe, which was re-walled in 1902, is a reliquary. The panel is from ab. 1600. The middle field of the altar piece is from a late Gothic triptychon with carved figures from 1515, in a change in the Renaissance were added new side fields. The figures were restored in 1948. An oil paiting, which was in the altar piece in 1858, is now on the church wall. New brass candelabres. Romanesque granite font with leaf-decoration and arcades on the basin. A pulpit from 1605 with the coat of arms of Kjeld Juel and fru Christence Juel, the original decoration was restored in 1911. The sounding board was a later addition in Rococo-style. Pews in Renaissance-style, the upper two closed manor stools with the coat of arms of the family Juels. In the west end a gallery from ab. 1590 with paintings of the apostles from 1858. In the church hang a series pastorum and a model of the school ship "Danmark". In the tower a bell from 1876 and a carillon, which with a tower-clock was given by Andreas Gade in 1938. Several memorials in the church, like gravestones, portrait reliefs, rests of coat of arms, coffin plates,figures etc. The church is fenced in by a stone dike with a double portal to the south.

Source: Trap Danmark, Ringkøbing amt, 1965. 
photo Stubberkloster & Flyndersø May 2009, Hjerl Hede 2005.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Brejninggård and Brejning church / Brejning kirke, Bølling herred, Ringkøbing amt.


The eastern wing of Brejninggård, built ab. 1580 by the nobleman Hans Lange, is one of the prettiest manor buildings in Denmark. The gate-wing displays a unique terra-cotta decoration in the facade. Brejninggård is now furnished into a high school , but there is public access to the yard and the garden.

Modern wings were built in 1942 and 1958 by the competent architect Helge Holm, and they suit the original Renaissance-plan well. The whole building is white-washed with red tiled roofs. The unique terracotta decoration on the east wing is the largest attraction of this manor. Brejninggård represents the original Italian ideal with a main emphasis on the decoration instead of the fortification which is seen in other manors. The facade shows some similarity to the manor Vorgård in North Jutland and the famous garden-house Pirkentavl at Rosenholm manor on Djursland. The ideal of Brejninggård might be the terracotta-ornamented North German city-houses. In Mecklenburg is a terracotta-decoration at the castle Gadebusch, built ab. 1570, which shows a similarity to Brejninggård.

The main building is listed in class A. Its terracotta-decoration makes it unique in the architectural history of Denmark, but it has been strangely neglected by contemporary architecture-historians.

Brejninggård belonged before the reformation to Ribe bishopric and was in 1457 and 1464 endowed to væbner Laurids Rød. In 1536 it came to the Crown, which in 1537 pawned it to Johan Stage, but in 1544 sold it to Gunde Lange (+ 1564). After this it belonged to the son Hans Lange of Kærgård (+1609), whose sons Tyge and Gunde Lange owned it together, until Tyge Lange died unmarried in 1614. In 1646 Gunde Lange of Kølbygård sold it to his brother Peder Lange of Kærgård (+ 1661), whose son Jørgen Lange in 1661 conveyed it to his wife-to-be jomfru Dorthe Galde. In 1665 it belonged to her brother-in-law Knud Skinkel ( + childless 1669), whose brother Morten Skinkel (+ childless 1679) took over the farm, which by his widow Helle Urne of Estvadgård (+ 1688) in an exchange 1682 came to his paternal aunt jomfru Ide Skinkel, who in 1683 transferred it to colonel Laurids Munk of Merløsegård (+ 1702). His widow Barbara Hedevig v. Dragsted ( + 1709) conveyed it in 1708 to Chr.Ulrich Schultz of Viumgård (+ 1709), whose son-in-law Steffen Nielsen of Endrupholm ( 1719 ennobled with the name Ehrenfeldt) in 1718 conveyed it to his sister's son Johannes Müller of Lunderup, who sold it at an auction in 1726 to Chr. Siegfried Enholm (later of Marsvinslund, + 1769). He sold it in 1754 to ritmester Hans Nicolai Hoff (later of Silkeborg, + 1806), who in 1760 conveyed it to baron Chr. Fr. Juul of Rysensteen, who lived at the farm, but in 1771 sold it to amtmand Peter de Albertin of Slumstrup, (+ 1779), whose widow Cathrine Kirstine Folsach owned it until her death 1812. ( she sold much of the property in 1794).

Later owners: Chr. H. Bonne, N. Nyholm of Haraldskær, H.S. and N.H. Frandsen, H.S. Albrechtsen, Statens Jordlovsudvalg ( outparcelling); School in main building since 1942 .

A Swan-family in the yard at Brejninggård

Brejning church
The large Brejning church has a choir with a three-winged finish, a nave and tower to the west and a porch at the north door. The center in the very mixed-together building are the sidewings of the choir and the nave, built in the Romanesque period in granite ashlars. In the long walls of the nave is a round-arched Romanesque window. The north-door is preserved, while each trace of the south door has vanished. In the late Middle Ages was the porch built with very heavy wealls in monk bricks. The broad tower is also from late Gothic period, built in re-used ashlars at the bottom and monk bricks above; it is best preserved at the north side, while the other sides are face-walled in ab. 1759. The bottom tower room is vaulted and opens in an arcade to the nave. The choir was rebuilt in the Renaissance-period, probably in 1581, since this year and the names Hans Lange and Johanne Schram and their coat of arms are written on clay tablets in the eastern wall. At the same time the old Romanesque triumph-wall disappeared between nave and choir, and the church was now in one room with a beamed ceiling.

Upon the bricked communion table stands an altar piece from ab. 1600-1610, painted 1876, now restored like the other wood-work in 1931. The altar-candelabres from ab. 1700. A Romanesque font with a rope-winded bulb. A large brass bowl from 1700. A large late Gothic choir-arch crucifix. The pulpit at the north side is from the beginning of the 1600s, in Renaissance, but with decorations from 1698. The manor-stools are from the end of the 1500s and has the names and coat of arms of Hans Lange and Johanne Schram. A confessional with grating and the year 1647, decorated in 1698. The upper pews have a front-panel with apostel-paintings, they origin from a gallery, which was earlier in the church. Portrait painting of Chr. Ulrich Schultz of Brejninggård and his wife and children. In a restoration in 1960-61 were found medieval coins, from Erik Menved to up til Chr. X.  

Listed prehistorics: Two passage graves, a longhill and 58 hills. One of the passage graves at Rudmose has a chamber with 10 supporting stones, but no cover stone; the other southeast of Brejninggård has 8 supporting stones and 44 edge stones, and it brought several finds, especially ceramics. Some of the hills are rather large, like Krathøj, just east of Krattet, 3 of 4 Ravnsbjerghøje, which are placed at the parish-border to Nr. Omme, and a hill southeast of Brejninggård.
Demolished or destroyed: one passage grave, a long dolmen and 133 hills.

A petroglyph-stone was found with a wheel-cross at Brejning. A settlement from early Roman Iron Age is known from Spjald.

Source: Trap Danmark, Ringkøbing amt, 1965.
photo June 2003: grethe bachmann