The farm history

Hans Christian Hoier

Translation of the picture: “Sneumgaard ladegaard burned down on the 24th August 1829 – rebuild 1830 – 31 by Kirstine Hedvig Kampmann – the widow of Niels Øllgaard Kampmann“

This text is carved into a boulder inbuilt in the wall at the Northern gateway to Sneumgaard. And thereby you are already thrown deep into the history of the old manor Sneumgaard. The boulder has been re-carved in resent years by the famous Danish artist Hans Christian Hoier who is most famous for creating the Bubble-fountain in Tivoli in Copenhagen.

d_hist1Sneumgaard is located at the address Sneumgaardsvej 3, DK 6731 Tjaereborg approximately 13 kilometer south of the oil- and fishery town Esbjerg and about 15 kilometer north of the ancient Viking market town Ribe. The manor has with its romantic park a highly distinctive and very beautiful position in the flat marshy landscape, at the edge of the bottom of the Sneum Stream Valley near the waddensea.

During the summer the weather is soft and gentle and we have a view over Sneum Stream and the expanse, green marsh-meadows as far as the eye can reach. In the winter it can be rough with harsh windy rainy weather – meadows flooded up to the eastern trench and southern dry stonewall of the park with enormous waters.

maleri-sneumgaard

History tells that Sneumgaard has its roots back to the 14th century. The farm developed into a manor in the course of time: The manor of Sneum Parish. During the 17th century the ground belonging to the manor was so stretched that according to the legend the lord of the manor could walk the 20 kilometers to the market town Varde on his own land!

Over the years large-scale farming has been practiced. For instance during the 18th century the manor milked a dairy cattle herd consisting of about 200 cows and for that purpose Sneumgaard ran its own dairy work. The tile wall from that dairy can still be seen in the milking parlour. In addition a vast number of bullocks was fattened here. During the 19th century a livestock of Shorthorn cattle was worked-up, later this was replaced by one of the very first livestocks of piebald Dutch cattle in this part of the country. Today the livestock consist of pure Simmental beef cattle only. Sneumgaard bear the stamps of history taking its course and wear and tear as well. During the time when wars against Sweden ravaged Denmark, Sneumgaard was burned down to the ground. The manor burned down once again in 1829 where after it was rebuild in the shape it has now. The barn was rebuild in 1949 due to a devastating storm. Also the hurricane 3rd December 2000 devastated the barn partly but now it has been mended.

d_hist4

After the repeal of adscription (1788) gradually all the copyhold farms were sold off and Sneumgaards acreage became continuously smaller. In 1914 there was no longer any descendants of the owners lineage to carry on. Sneumgaard was then bought by a parcelling-out-association and then parcelled out into many farms and smallholdings. In that way the village of Sneum from ancient times was re-established and about 30 hectare remained in the possession of Sneumgaard – the size of Sneumgaard in the year 2005.

The soil has always consisted of partly marshy meadows bottomed by greasy sticky, partly of sandy- and clayey mould arable land. It’s all in all a land very suitable for stockbreeding.

A great deal could be told about the history of Sneumgaard: About how noblemen, Lord of manors, clergymen, and teachers, warriors and distinguished unmarried ladies of rank knocked about here! And the Lady who haunted restless around, rounded up by a troop of dead bodies! And that stall in the cow house, where the bullocks wasn’t able to sleep calm overnight because underneath a child – a result of concealment in birth – was buried….. Not to mention the widow of the rural dean not willingly to leave her room at Sneumgaard. – The history tend to make its own twists – now Sneumgaard is owned by a cleargyman and a teacher….

The history had its intriguing course over Sneumgaard. And wear and tear has marked its stamps. The present owners, who bought the manor in 1999, have therefore began an extensive restoration – buildings, park etc over time will be carried back to its origin. A thrilling work has begun!

And who knows, perhaps we will serve salmon for the guest? At least that was usual in times immemorial. Even so much that, farmhands and servant girls up to resent time as a matter of course demanded that their contract should include a proviso that they were not obliged to eat salmon more than twice a week……

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