6: The farm from Fjelsted

Udsigt over Fjelsted by. Fjelstedgården, midt i billedet. Set fra kirketårnet. Længst til højre ses huset, hvor gårdens sidste ejer boede.

Alkoverum i Fjelstedgården, Den Fynske Landsby.

Fjelstedgården i Den Fynske Landsby.

Fjelstedgården i Den Fynske Landsby, bygnuingsdetalje. Udskud på stuehuset.

Fjelstedgårdens gårdsplads, Den Fynske Landsby.

Bygningsdetalje fra Fjelstedgården, Den Fynske Landsby. Bindingsværk på stuehuset.

Bygningsdetalje, Fjelstedgården i Den Fynske Landsby. Sulekonstruktion i udlængen.

Interiør fra fjelstedgården, den Fynske landsby. Møblement fra storstuen.

Fjelstedgården, før den blev flyttet til Den Fynske Landsby.

Fjelstedgården, da den stadig var beboet og i brug i Fjelsted.


The Fjelsted Farm (no. 6) plays a special role in the Funen Village as it contains some characteristic regional features and is very old. The roof bearings posts of the east and west wings date back to the 15th century.

Fjelsted Farm was a typical Funen farm of medium to large size – about 7 tønder hartkorn [Danish unit of land valuation based on estimated productivity] in 1844.
The farm was originally a copyhold farm under a series of different manors until 1760 when it was sold to Niels Jørgensen. The same family owned and ran Fjelsted Farm right up to the time it was taken over by The Funen Village.
During almost all of the last century, it was the women of the family who were the heads of the farm – something very unusual at that time.

Fjelsted Farm is rather a large farm. It comprises four connected wings, 86 bays in all around the farmyard. In the cobbled farmyard there are the typical structures – the midden and the well. Why was the midden always sited in the middle of the building complex? It caused huge environmental problems with flies, smells and polluted water. It was partly because manure was a valuable resource which they were reluctant to see stolen, and partly because the farmyard is only a short distance from all the farm buildings. Drinking water was usually boiled and used for brewing beer. An old farm
Fjelsted Farm's oldest buildings are the west and east wings. The earliest tree-ring dates go back to the 15th century. So the history of the standing buildings extends about 500 years back in time. This probably makes them Denmark's oldest byre and barn! If these buildings are examined more closely, it quickly becomes apparent that they obviously do not have a definite fixed age. The numerous signs of alterations and re-use are evidence of the fact that old buildings illustrate a long process of change and adaptation rather than one particular time. These buildings contain elements from all their lifetime, beginning with the raising of the first central post in around 1500 up until the time the buildings were dismantled and moved to the Museum – not forgetting subsequent repairs. It is difficult to follow the development of the buildings in detail, but by walking around the farm you will discover that the façades change appearance from time to time. Some façades are lower than others and some contain more wood. This new appearance extends over a number of bays and then comes the next change. A further difficulty in the building investigation arises from the old agricultural building practices being characterised by re-cycling. They took a piece from one building and fixed it onto another. Or the part of the sill beam that was not rotten was used as a door post in the opposite wing. The four buildings stood independently of each other until the 19th century when improved production required more room. So the buildings were connected together with the rounded, rather chubby-looking corners. The roof-bearing posts
The two old farm wings to the east and west both have a single central row of roof-bearing posts. It is only because the central posts at both ends of the buildings, and various associated timbers, can be dated back to the 16th century, that we dare state the buildings are so old. A sharp eye looking at the façades can detect that these wings are of this special central-post construction. The characteristic tenons of the tie beams inserted through the wall posts are few and far between. There is about one for each central-post bay. Ordinary timber framing has is a beam tenon for every frame. This can be clearly seen on the south wing and the dwelling house. A clear impression is gained of the buildings' adaptive capabilities relative to wind, weather and soil when looking at how crooked and distorted they have become over the centuries. It is perhaps worth mentioning that central-post buildings were common throughout Denmark during the Middle Ages. Subsequently, they are only known from Central Jutland and Funen. On Funen, and especially SW Funen, this central-post form of construction continued in use until about 1850. Around 200 central-post buildings survive on Funen.
The dwelling house Between the two old central-post wings, there is a timber-framed dwelling house to the north and a timber-framed barn to the south. The dwelling house is a 23-bay building. It is four bays wide, apart from roughly in the middle where there are five bays, due to the later addition of an “outshot”. The dwelling house is marked by its c. 250 years. It has both protruding beam tenons and the more modern tie beams resting on the wall plate. The house is thatched with reed and has a ridge qith kragetrær. Its façades are characterised by having two studs in the lower panels and a special West Funen construction of corners and braces (foto). The use of large quantities of timber is interpreted as a display of prestige and wealth. The lay-out is reminiscent of that which could be seen around 1800 when most farms had abandoned the former way of life, which involved all the inhabitants having common interests and a common daily life. The house contains all the important rooms for occupation and self-sufficiency. These are, from the west, [ølkammer/brewing room/beer cellar?] and maid's room. Then scullery with bake-oven, malt kiln and copper as well as a stair/ladder to the unused loft etc. The house then divides into two, as the extra width at the outshot makes it possible to have two rooms alongside each other. There is the servants' hall, with the cooking hearth in an open chimney. To the north of this lies an old bedroom with three alcoves, where up to six people could sleep. The next room is a kind of entrance hall. To the north of this there is a smaller room out towards the garden – one of the earliest known garden rooms. Then there is a weaving room, and the house's final room, furthest to the east, is the parlour or best parlour.