8: The Hospital

Katterød Hospital i sne, nu i Den Fynske Landsby.

Hospital fra Katterød, nu i Den Fynske Landsby.

Katterød Hospital, da det stadig l i Landsbyen Katterød.

Haveparceller ved Den Fynske Landsbys hospital fra Katterød.

Katterød Hospital, inden flytningen til Den Fynske Landsby.


The Hospital (no. 8) was, during the entire time it functioned, home to some of society's poorest and weakest members. The Hospital (poorhouse) was built in 1786 by Baron Adam Christopher Holsten to accommodate some of the poorest people in his barony.

Until the beginning of the 19th century care of the poor in the country was almost exclusively financed by private philanthropy. Katterød Hospital writes itself into this tradition as a manorially-financed poorhouse which aimed to “...make the poor's conditions as tolerable as possible in their days of old age and weakness”, as it states in its charter. Katterød Hospital was one of a total of six planned hospitals in the Holstenhus manorial area. In 1790, 60% of the parishes on Funen had manorially-founded hospitals.
Life at the Hospital In the Hospital’s charter, it is laid down that the building could be inhabited by up to 16 people, and that the inhabitants were each year to receive a sum of money from the landowner. In addition, they were to have to six loads of peat and a little area of garden which belonged to the flats. It was the landowner who decided who lived in the Hospital. At the time of the census in 1787, the Hospital housed 14 people, distributed between seven flats. They were all alms inmates and there was only one adult male among them. However, as early as 1801, it became possible for the accommodation to be inhabited by people not in receipt of alms. The inhabitants that year included a soldier and a family with two children, where the father earned a living as a weaver. During the course of the 19th century, the Hospital became the home of several day labourers, unskilled labourers and workmen associated with Holstenshus Manor, even though the inhabitants still included alms inmates. In the middle of the century, the number of inhabitants had increased dramatically. Consequently, in 1860 there were 31 people living there, from seven families, One family comprised eight members (three generations), so they lived tightly packed in the small flats. In 1938, the Hospital in Katterød was closed and replaced by a charitable trust with the aim of establishing an old people's home in Diernæs parish. One was later established in Kaleko.

Building tradition Katterød Hospital is stone-built with thick walls built of field stones (granite boulders) and a roof thatched with reed. The internal dividing walls are timber-framed with fired bricks in the panels. The solid building style was presumably chosen to ensure that the Hospital would last for many years without requiring very much maintenance. The massive stone construction was also less of a fire hazard than traditional timber framing, and there had been many fires at Holstenshus' farms in the years prior to the Hospital being built. When the Hospital was founded, a peat store was built for the storage of fuel. The Peat Store at The Funen Village is a reconstruction (from 1992) of the Hospital's first peat store which was demolished in 1847. It is timber framed with open wickerwork in the panels so the stored peat was able to dry. Building history Katterød Hospital has undergone few changes externally during its existence. The solid stone walls have not invited many changes. The internal division into rooms has, however, changed. On being taken over by The Funen Village, there were three two-room and two single-room flats, instead of the original eight small flats, each of about 13 m2. In some of the flats the old earth floor had been replaced by a brick floor or even wooden floorboards.