|Gærum church, ab. 8 km southwest of Frederikshavn.|
Gærum parish, Horns herred, Hjørring amt.
The lonely situated whitewashed church in Gærum (Gerum) has a new tower to the west, a nave and choir and a porch to the north. The present nave and choir represent the oldest core, undoubtedly a late Romanesque building in large monk bricks, mixed with some boulder, but there are no safe evidence of the dating. The whole north side is now without windows, earlier was supposed that there was a trace of Romanesque windows, which are not visible now. The church has inside a beamed ceiling, while the choir has a cross vault. At the end of the Middle Ages a tower was built, but it seems that only the bottom storey with a point arched arcade towards the nave was finished. A new tower is built upon this place, whitewashed with a pyramid roof (built 1956-57); and at the same occassion the walls of the nave were enheightened. The porch was built in 1863.
The altarpiece is a Renaissance work from 1602 (painted date of year), undoubtedly given by Vogn Svendsen (Orning) of Gerumgård, whose paternal and maternal coat of arms are at the postament. The altarpiece has three high narrow fields, each with a triangular gable and divided by slender columns; in the middle field is a painting from ab. 1850. A Romanesque granite font; a baptismal dish in brass from the 1500s with a later giver-inscription. An oblate box was in 1712 given by Jens Olufsen Wang, who earlier in 1690 gave a lyseskærm ( reflector in brass) for the pulpit. The pulpit is in high Renaissance with carved year 1592, in the fields, divided by baluster-columns, are biblical images, flatcarved with engraved details; in the postament fields inscriptions and the coat of arms of the above mentioned Vogn Svendsen Orning and wife, Ingeborg Basse. The same couple is memorized upon two pew gables, now in the tower room. (1960). The other pews are from the last restoration in 1956. In the porch stand two Romanesque granite crosses. A Romanesque bell from ab. 1175, without inscription.
* upon the north wall of the nave hangs an altar painting (Golgatha) from 1915, which was used before the painting from 1895. (see various links on the net: Gærum kirke/ Gerum kirke.
* restoration of altar in 2012? with a new pretty altar decoration, but no information about the artist
Gerumgård was a herregård (manor) already in the Middle Ages. In 1350 væbner Niels Pedersen (Hagel) wrote himself of Gerum; in 1395 Peder Nielsen (Hagel ), who had 3 søblade (= water lily leaves or hearts) in his coat of arms. In 1469 Knud Nielsen lived in Gerum, and in 1520 fru Else. In 1538 G. was owned by Jens Torlufsen (Basse from Vendsyssel), in 1568 by his widow Maren Nielsdatter (Smalsted). Their daughter Ingeborg Jensdatter (Basse from Vendsyssel) brought by marriage the farm to Vogn Svendsen (Orning) (+ earliest 1599),whose son Svend Vognsen Orning (+ earliest 1636) before 1617 sold G. to his relative captain Hans Lauridsen Basse (from Vendsyssel) (+ ab. 1648), but in 1627 he is mentioned as residing in "Vestergård in Gerum". G. was inherited by Hans Basse's daughters, Sophie Hansdatter Basse (from Vendsyssel) (+ ab. 1667), m. to Erik Hvas of Skjortholt, and Ellen Hansdatter Basse (from Vendsyssel) (+ ab. 1673 unmarried). After Erik Hvas' death in 1661 his widow sold in 1667 G. with estate to her sister, the above mentioned jomfru Ellen Basse, who in 1668 pawned it to Erik Hvas' 6 children, of whom the daughter Abel Marie Hvas (of Skjortholt)(+ earliest 1680) was m. to Georg Henrik v Grimmer, who in 1674 wrote himself of G. but left his wife the same year and went down to the Netherlands.
Later owners: Jens Hvas, Tyge Andersen (Rugholm), Kirsten Knudsdatter, Hans Petersen Nordmand, Jørgen Bille of Ellinggård, biskop Christoffer Gertsen Mumme of Eget, Fr. Henrik Stampe, Claus Hansen, Hans Peder Clausen Hauman, Christen Ørsnes at Hørbylund, Hans Severin Rafn, Jonas Jespersen, Arent Hassel Rasmussen of Sejlstrup, Christen Løgtholt and Christen Neisig, Niels R. Bornholm, Hans Høyer, N. Severin Nyssum, Hans Jelstrup, Lauge Severin Fanøe, Valdemar Kongsted, Chr. Oluf Højmark, Chr. Christiansen (Bouet), Statens jordlovsudvalg, udstykning, hovedparcel: solgt 1952 til: Kurt Jelvard Møller.
Rydsholt was owned free by Niels Tømmermand in Aalborg in 1525 acc. to Christian II's royal letter. In 1579 Karine Krabbe (of Østergård)( + 1586), widow after Niels Skeel of Nygård (Brusk herred)( + 1561) and Otte Banner of Asdal (+ 1585) bought on behalf of his wife fru Ingeborg Skeel (+ 1604) of Voergård the right of the Crown in R. with permission to negotiate the peasant taxes.
Fru Abel Marie Hvas (of Skjortholt) wrote herself of Svejs in 1576 .
In Rævdal is in 1576 mentioned fru Bolle Svendsdatter (Orning).
A house at Gerumgård was in 1662 called Rylden. In 1688 is in the parish mentioned the farm Boes and the house Lille høfuit.
Listed prehistorics: the parish is in relation to its size very rich on prehistorics. Listed are: a long dolmen, a passage grave, 2 long hills, 34 hills and a stone circle. The long dolmen is Stenstuen at Gærum kirke, 68 m long with 57 edge stones and a disturbed chamber in the east end. The passage grave Blakshøj is one of the largest and best preserved in Jutland with an eight m long chamber. Here were found 3 flint axes and some clay pot pieces. Among the hills are especially two large hills at Kragkær, one upon the highest point of the parish Kig-ud , and close to this is Storhøj, and two hills at Nr. Vrangbæk.
Demolished or destroyed: two dolmens, of which one brought 6 flint axes, 3 claypots etc, the other several amber pearls; furthermore 23 long hills, 120 hills, a stone circle and a large amount of small mounds.
Names from the Middle Ages and 1600s:
Rævdal (1579 Refvedal); Vester and Øster Rør (1610 Røer, 1662 Wester- Øster Rør); Bovet (1662 Bowed); Tvedens Huse (1484 Twedh); Gerumgård (1662 Gierumbgaard); Sveje (1662 Sveige); Blakshøjgård (earlier Gødgård) (1610 Giøgard); Bygstade (1688 Bug Stade); Vejrbakken (1662 Weyerbachen); Bol (1638 Bodel, 1662 Boell); Fuglsang (1610 Fouellsanngh); Rydsholt (1467 Rettzholt, 1525 Rysholt); Nr. Vrangbæk (1610 Vrangbech); Hulsig (1572 Holssig); Guddal (1662 Gudall); Kragkær (1610 Kragkier); Kovstrup (1610 Kosterup); Lybershøj (1579 Lubeshof, Lubischøf.)
Source: Trap Danmark, Hjørring amt, 1960.
photo: Google earth, Gærum kirke.