Monday, September 26, 2016

Bratskov manor and Brovst church , Vendsyssel, North Jutland

Bratskov, (wikipedia)
Bratskov is a manor in Brovst, Jammerbugt kommune (historical: Øster Han herred, Hjørring amt) In the building is today a historical museum with fx a big collection of stone tools from Stone Age from a finding place in Brovst. In the main building is a culture center. Brovst kommune took over Bratskov in 1976 and let the main building be renovated, it was inaugurated as a culture center with public access in August 1979. In the pretty restored rooms in the main building are alternate exhibitions  (and lectures and association arrangements).The east part of the gate-wing is a tourist office and the timbered wing has charming reconstructions of a smitty, a shoemaker workshop and a school room from year 1900. Here are also alternate art exhibitions. The castle park has public access.

Near Bratskov lies a lake where was once a castle called "Bratlingsborg", which is said to have sunk down into the water, but there are still rests of bricks and bridges. What is told today about this castle ( heard about in the giant folk songs) is now considered a fable. In the not so deep lake where people fish perch, pike and bream, lies a castle in the deep - and after this the new castle Bratskov was built...

It is not known how much truth this fable contains, but Bratskov can be traced back to the 1200s. It was owned by several grand Danish aristocratic families through the ages.The owner of Bratskov owned six churches (among those Brovst church). Neighbouring manors were the old Aggersborggaard, Aagaard and Frejstrupgaard, all burnt down by rebellious peasants in 1441.

The oldest part of the present Bratskov is from 1550, but according to sources there was an earlier building in the area. Bratskov is mentioned for the first time in 1307 in written sources. The present Bratskov was built by the noble family Rotfeld who owned the estate from the middle of the 1300s. The building master Jens Nielsen Rotfeld died in 1558 as the last male of the family.  The first member of the noble family Rotfeld was Ugod Torstensen, a son of the legendary Torsten Vild. The family with other colourful names like Ingvor Udsen and Niels Kalv wrote itself of Bratskov up through the 1400s, but in the 1550, when they finally built the stone house the male line was extinct.

Several noble families from Funen owned Bratskov since, until colonel Frantz Rantzau in 1655 bought the manor. The descendants of Rantzau owned Bratskov for over 100 years until 1785. In the end of the 1700s large areas by the Limfjord were drained and dried, and the extra land of the manor was now good farm land. The land was gradually parcelled out in the first half of the 20th century and the farm was closed in 1948. In 1953 Bratskov was bought by barrister Erik Brüel, who restored the dilapidated main building. Brovst kommune took over the manor in 1976 and the above mentioned culture center opened in 1979.

The western wing is the main building, built in monkstone in two floors. The square stair-tower was added in 1660. In the stair-tower leads a staircase down to the original 1100s cellar with exposed monk-brick walls and barrel vault. In the old food cellar are kept two salt jars which were once used for storing the meat. The low, timbered sidewings were built in the middle of the 1700s. The whole plan was originally four-winged, but the east wing was demolished during the 1800s. There is still a moat to the east, north and west with a small bridge to the north. In earlier times the whole manor was surrounded by moats as a protection against peasant warriors.

Brovst church
Brovst church (wikipedia)
In a restoration in 1951-52 were found traces in the church floor which indicated that here was a smaller stone church in the 1000s at the same palace as the present church.

The present church is built in the 1200s in ashlars, granite boulders and bricks. There are original windows in the nave, both to the north and south. They are kept as niches, visible inside the church.
There is a trace of the original apse. Here was originally a window. In the 1300s or a little later the nave was extended  to the east, and the choir was made smaller. The Romanesque choir arch was demolished, and parts from this are seen outside in the south wall of the nave. Upon the north wall opposite the pulpit are the niches of two bricked up windows. The first tower was probably built in the middle of the 1300s. The porch is from the Middle Ages, and the north door is still in use via the porch.

The Romanesque altar table is no more. The present bricked altar table is from the restoration in 1951. The antemensale with gold stripes is from 1988. In 1729 Frantz Rantzau gave the church a good restore and equipped it with altarpiece, pulpit and a gallery. In the top of the altarpiece is a triangle with God's name written in Hebraic letters, under this the coat of arms of Frantz RantzaU and wife Margrethe Rodsteen. The altar painting is from 1898 by A Dorph. The altar candelabres are from the 1700s. The baptismal font is the only left Romanesque inventory. The baptismal dish is probably from ab. 1600. The pulpit is like the altarpiece and the gallery from 1729. The pulpit was made by carver Peder Roussel,  Aalborg. He also carved the pulpit in Nørre Tranders church.

 After the reformation the church was owned by Bratskov manor. In 1576 Erik Lykke of Bratskov had the king's permission to use the stones from a demolished church in Kettrup (Ingstrup) for a repair of Brovst church. It is not known if the materials were brought to Brovst.

In a royal letter from 1603 the tower is mentioned as "being blown down in the latest storm". The present tower was probably built in the middle of the 1600s.

In 1876 some parishioners bought two church bells. The small is a medieval bell, recast in 1929 by the Smiths. The big bell is cast by John Taylor and co. 

photo: wikipedia