Sunday, March 04, 2012

Nødager church / Nødager kirke, Djurs Sønder herred, Randers amt.

foto: stig bachmann nielsen,

foto: stig bachmann nielsen,

foto: stig bachmann Nielsen,
The whitewashed church in Nødager is built as a longhouse with tower to the west and a porch to the southside. The cernel is a Romanesque limestone-building, it had originally nave and choir, from which stand now only the sidewalls of the nave and parts of the west gable, decorated with partly well-preserved blind arcade-galleries under the roof. In the west gable is a traceable little highplaced window, and above this a relief cross in glare. Another bricked-up window is seen on the north side. (the church only gets light from the south). Both Romanesque doors are kept, the bricked-up north door is decorated with halfpillars. Already in the early Middle Ages, possibly in the late 1100s, the church had a tower to the west, built in granite ashlars upon a double bevel plinth and in the bell storey small double windows with pillars; these have disappeared, but a lintel with a double curve is still on its place on the north side, another is bricked-up on the south side of the choir. The tower has original western portal with a tympanum-relief: a cross surrounded by horsemen with lances. In the late Middle Ages the Romanesque choir was broken down, and the church was extended to the east in the broadth of the nave, and it had a new, flat altar wall. The eastern extension is possibly contemporary to a rebuild of the tower  and a new porch-building. The choir gable got a  fine late Gothic east gable, and the whole church and the tower room were covered in octagonal rib vaults. In the south wall of the new choir was built-in a staircase, which leads up to a small room with a walled desk , a medieval pulpit or a reading desk.  The large late Gothic porch is partly built in monk bricks, partly in re-used limestone ashlars; in 1896 the portal to the church was closed, the porch became store room (now burial chapel), and the entrance was moved to the tower.

Upon a walled communion table with a front panel from the 1600s stands a large altarpiece in Renaissance with later added sidewings in bruskbarok, dated 1647, the altarpiece has old paintings upon the footpiece, in the large field and in the top field, the earliest painting from the large field is now in Ebeltoft Museum. The altarpiece was restored with a remake of the old colours in 1952. A Romanesque granite font with rope windings, upon the baptismal dish are the coat of arms and of  Urne and Ahlefeldt and the year 1579. A simple pulpit with sounding board in Renaissance from the beginning of the 1600s with arcade fields without pictures. At the pews in the upper section of the church are kept several panels from the 1600s with biblical quotes. In the tower a bell with inscription from 1515. In the tower room frescoes from the late Middle Ages, restored in 1913. The church was restored in 1952. Church ship a brig.

 Stabrand was earlier a special parish with its own church, which stood in the middle of the village. The site was some years ago broken up, it was in raw granite boulder and showed that the church had a nave and a choir with a straight gable, a tower to the west and a porch to the south. The cemetery was still used in the 1600s. At Stabrand is a memorial with inscription: Here was Stabrand church ab. 1100-1650.

Two sacred springs are known from the parish, one at Pederstrup (perhaps the Sct Helene kilde, which is mentioned in 1743) and Højevad at Kelstrup. Kirsten's and Gertrud's springs at Pederstrup were seemingly not sacred.  

East southeast of Stabrand was the settlement Tolstrup (1688 Tolstrup). In a ploughing they have found foundation stones and pavements, and the place is still called Tolstruptofter. A folksong about a herremand at Tolstrup ( lord of the manor), who in a hunt fought with another lord of the manor, is referred to this place, the legend is also connected to the tympanum at Nødager church and to the round dolmen Hunden og Haren at Stabrand.


Listed prehistorics: 11 round dolmens, 8 long dolmens, 2 dolmen chambers and 26 hills. From the dolmens is mentioned the round dolmen Mejkirke with a large cover stone above the chamber at Skeldrup; a round dolmen Hunden og Haren and the long dolmen Stenmanden at Stabrand; the three-chambered long dolmen  Jyndovnen at Mårup and the two-chambered Kramkisten west of Skeldrup. Large hills are Stolshøj south of Nødager, Kejserhøj south of Pederstrup, another hill southeast of the same town and Store Sortehøj, 6 m high, north of Mårup.
Demolished or destroyed: 16 round dolmens, 9 long dolmens, 7 dolmen chambers, 12 indefinable stone graves and 115 hills, which mainly were in the middle section of the parish.

At Englund were found 33 Arabic coins and some silverpieces from the Viking period.

Names in the Middle Ages: Nødager (1342 Nutakær, 1441 Nøtagher); Kelstrup (1485 Kiilstrop); Pederstrup (1480 Pederstrop); Horstved (1441 Horsthwet); Stabrand (1387 Staabrund, 1416 Stabrun); Krarup (1458 Krarop; Mårup (1398 Morop); Skeldrup (1661 Schieldrup); Ildbjerg (1485 Eylbergh, 1610 Jlberigh); Skårupgård (1499 Skorop, Skordorp). 

Source: Trap Danmark, Randers amt, 1963.

photo March 2012:grethe bachmann

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