Explore the Past

Burial Mounds, Churches and Manors in the Municipality of Jammerbugten

faelles-om-fortiden-jammerbugt

A Sea of Stories

Jammerbugten is rich on stories. Churches, manors, castle mounds, burial mounds, ancient fields and sunken roads wait for those who wish to explore the landscape. We have gathered a small selection from the many sights in the area, but there is much more to experience out there – use the map and investigate on your own. You can drive right up to many of the sights; others are on private ground and must be seen from the road. This folder can also inspire those who wish to hike to the prehistoric sites.

Enjoy!

See the Ancient Monuments

31 – Hingelbjerge
The hills of Hingelbjerge loom above the hilly landscape of Jammerbugten; a preserved area from which you can see from Rubjerg Knude in the north east to Bulbjerg in the south west on a clear day. This is where the Stone-Age and Bronze-Age people buried their dead in burial mounds of which 36 have been preserved.

73 – Rødland Hede – Iron-Age Markets and Burial Mounds
On the moor Rødland Hede you find preserved fields from the Iron Age, with low banks still showing where the ancient peasants ploughed. In the nearby Fosdal and Langdal Plantations you find a wide range of Bronze-Age burial mounds, and Bavnehøj, with its 84 metres above sea level, gives a splendid view of the landscape.

39 – Janum Kjøt – Burial Mounds and Erratic Block
Janum Kjøt is placed high on a hill – six round barrows and a long barrow near a rather impressive erratic block that is 7 metres long and 3.5 metres tall.

29 – Burial Mounds – Prehistoric Landmarks
As was the custom with Bronze-Age mounds, the row of burial mounds at Haverslev Church was situated highly in the landscape so the mounds could be seen from afar and serve as landmarks for travellers. In many places, the mounds were arranged in rows that followed the local roads, at least part of the way.

38 – Hvisselhøj – a Three-Chamber Passage Grave
Three-chambered passage graves are exceedingly rare. In Denmark we have just one – Hvisselhøj. Concealed under the mound are three stone chambers. Although the corridors are narrow, you can stand erect in the ‘big’ chambers that were once built to house generations of dead family members.

92 – Store Vildmose – Iron-Age Stepping Stones
For centuries, Store Vildmose has revealed glimpses of life as it was in the Iron Age. The stepping stones are such a glimpse; a row of stones laid down 1,700 years ago so the Iron-Age peasants could pass dry-shod through the wetlands. Information plaques guide visitors through what was once the biggest moor in the country and tell the story of the moor’s transformation from wilderness to farmland.

85 and 2 – Tingskoven
The wood Tingskoven is named after Han Shire’s original thingstead, or place of court, at Søhøje. The thingstead was encircled by huge boulders and used for judicial proceedings until 1634. A second stone circle is found at Andebjerg where 13 boulders are neatly arranged in a system which the local people believe to be an ancient calendar.  The wood is also the site of several wells from antiquity.

Viking Age and Peasant Revolt

95 – The Viking Fortress Aggersborg
Visit one of Harald Bluetooth’s Viking fortresses. The fortress is strategically situated at a narrow part of Limfjorden’s waters so that the lord of the fortress could control the passage of ships from east to west. An exhibition shows the history of Aggersborg.

98 and 37 – Aagaard and Husby Hole
Back in 1441, the medieval fortress Aagaard fell to the peasants’ revolt against king and nobles, but the peasants suffered a devastating defeat at Husby Hole. Husby Hole is a preserved area with many burial mounds, sunken roads and the historic Sankt Jørgens Bjerg. In the woods at Aagaard you find a marked trail leading to the memorial of Master of the Hunt C.E. Roulund, the instigator of a grange and a savings bank in the 1850s.

81 – Skæg-Jerriks Hill
A modern burial mound built by Erik Chr. Sørensen, known as Skæg-Jerrik (1834-1915), a highly educated but curious local character who took an interest in politics and social conditions. He built the mound in his own garden, and it contains the urn with his ashes.

Manors and Churches

64 and 65 – Oxholm
Originally a Benedictine monastery, Oxholm was built around 1175 as Ø Monastery. 400 years later, it became the property of Frants Banner who named it Oxholm after his wife, Anna Oxe. In 1916, it was purchased by H.N. Andersen, the founder of the East-Asiatic Company (ØK). The nearby Oxholm Mill is a copy of the original mill from 1857.  The church dates back to the 15th century when it was built as an annex to the monastery and it is today one of the few privately owned churches in Denmark. It has functioned as a parish church since the 1560s. Among its lavish decorations are the altar piece and, next to it, a six metres tall monstrance cabinet – the biggest in Scandinavia, by the way – where the holy vessel containing the communion bread was kept when the main building was still a monastery.

30 – The Bratskov Manor
Famous noble families like Rotfeld, Brahe, Rantzau and Grabow owned Bratskov for centuries. The present-day white main building dates back to 1550, but the wings are from around 1750. In 1976, the municipality of Brovst purchased the manor and turned it into a community centre. There is public access to the park.

46 – Kokkedal Slot
The original medieval fortress was burnt down by Skipper Clement in the Reformation War of 1534-36, upon which High Constable Erik Banner had the present castle built, around 1540. In the years 1917-22, Kokkedal was owned by Prince Erik, and it has been a hotel and a restaurant since 1988.

Klim Church
The porch from 1988 contains a remarkable gravestone from the 12th century when the church was built: the convex stone is coffin-shaped and adorned with carved reliefs. It may have been made to cover the grave of the master builder of the church.

Hjortdal Church
Wishing to prevent foreign men-of-war in Jammerbugten from using the church steeple as a landmark during the Napoleonic Wars around the turn of the 19th century, the local people reduced the steeple to an unusually low height. Moreover, the church nearly fell victim to the sand drifts ravaging the area in the 1500s. The altar piece shows Anna E. Munch’s depiction of local fishermen and peasants.

Lerup Church
As you start to descend toward Fosdalen and Our Lady’s Spring you find the small Lerup Church with its beautiful frescoes. The baptismal font is also worth seeing; its frieze shows the local history and at the same time illustrates the transition from Celtic past to Catholic Christianity.

Gjøl Church
In the period between 1150 and 1200, the great Master Gøti was in charge of building the highly situated church known as the ‘Paradise Church.’ It has unique specimens of stone and wood carvings, such as the scene from the Garden of Eden above the entrance. Do not miss Master Gøti’s baptismal font and the gold-plated altar piece made by wood carver Hans Brüggermann from Husum.

Jetsmark Church
One of our great and remarkable churces, Jetsmark was built in the 1100s like most of the other churches in the area. When the tower and porch were added around 1450, the church became vaulted and adorned with frescoes of stories from the Bible as well as portraits of Catholic saints. The traditional pews have been replaced with modern chairs.

42 – The Lost Kettrup Church
In the 1500s, sand drifts ravaged the area along Jammerbugten and completely covered Kettrup Church in Ingstrup Parish. A memorial shows the site of the demolished church until 1571. Parts of the materials from the church were reused in Brovst Church.

Holy Springs

77 and 19 – Sankt Olav’s Spring and Our Lady’s Spring
For thousands of years, believers and pilgrims, the sick and the disabled, have journeyed to holy springs to benefit from the healing powers of the waters.  The spring at Svinkløv was dedicated to Norwegian Saint Olav, and the spring in Fosdalen was dedicated to Our Lady. Local markets and fairs emerged at the springs, and at Our Lady’s Spring, festivities got so out of hand that in 1585, the parson in Lerup Church complained in a letter to the Bishop of Børglum about ‘gross indecency’ and demanded that the market be closed.

Hiking through the Past

There are several opportunities for those who wish to hike to ancient sites. Visit for instance Klim Bjerg, Husby Hole, Haverslev Church, Aagaard, Kollerup Plantation, Hingelbjerge, Egebjerg, Janum Kjøt, Fosdal and Langdal plantations, the hiking trail from the lay-by at Rødhusvej, and Store Vildmose.

If you choose to follow one of the national trails marked on the map, the West Coast Trail, the North Sea Trail or the Haervej, these trails take you close by a plethora of ancient sights and through splendid landscapes in Jammerbugten.