Dronninglund Castle is a former royal residence located in the northern part of the Jutland Peninsula. Its history goes back to the 12th century, when it was the Benedictine monastery of Hundslund Priory. After the last nuns left it in 1581, it was first owned by the Lindenow family. In 1690, Queen Charlotte Amalie acquired it. It is from her that the palace takes the name Dronninglund, meaning 'queens forest'.
The priory was established about 1100 on a royal farm given by King Erik II Emune. The priory was built north of Aalborg for Benedictine nuns. It was dedicated to St. Mary and St. Clement (both names were used in documents).
The original church was built in Romanesque style with rounded arches and a flat timber ceiling. The old church was replaced in 1350 and then renovated several times into the remarkable structure which can still be seen today in its late Gothic form.
The priory had three ranges attached to the church, so that it formed an enclosure to separate the nuns from the rest of the community. One range was used as a dormitory, a second for a refectory and cellars, and the third for lay sisters and unmarried noble women who lived at the priory.
Margaret I gave income properties to Hundslund in the early 14th century, and her favor brought additional gifts from noble families, making the abbey the owner of farms, mills, and other rent property for the sustenance of the abbey. It became one of the largest landowners in northern Jutland.
Hundslund Priory was involved in a lengthy lawsuit with State Councillor Anders Banner over the boundary between his estate and priory lands in 1455. The priory accused Banner of ordering his servants to move the boundary staves and then hired 25 witnesses at the local assembly to say that no one had claimed the disputed land for more than 60 years. Banner was excommunicated by the Bishop of Børglum for his intransigence. The suit was mediated by King Christoffer I at Kalundborg in 1468.
Anders Gyldenstierne was appointed superintendent of the secularized priory in 1531. In the confusion during Skipper Clement's 1534–1535 rebellion, the nuns were literally thrown out of the priory in 1535 by the last Catholic Bishop of Børglum, Stygge Krumpen. Krumpen occupied the priory with his retainters. Gyldenstierne complained on behalf of the nuns to Christian III. The king wanted to strip Bishop Krumpen of his power in order to get control of the State Council and establish the Lutheran Ordinances. The king ordered him out of the priory and restored it to Anders Gyldenstierne and ordered him to keep an eye out for the king's interest in the estate until 1555. The abbey became a home for former nuns and unmarried women until 1572. The entire archive of the priory was transferred to Aalborg Castle, where it was inventoried, but all documents were lost. A few letters regarding Hundslund were preserved in other archives, including the letters of gift from Margaret I.
in 1561 the mortgage on the abbey was paid off by one of Denmark's leading noblemen, Corfitz Uhlfeldt. Hundslund Priory passed into private ownership in 1581, when Frederik II sold the abbey and its properties to the nobleman Johannes Lindenow.References:
Castle Rushen is located in the Isle of Man"s historic capital, Castletown. The castle is amongst the best examples of medieval castles in the British Isles, and is still in use as a court house, museum and educational centre.
The exact date of castle is unknown, although construction is thought to have taken place during the reigns of the late 12th century and early 13th century rulers of the Isle of Man – the Kings of Mann and the Isles. The original Castle Rushen consisted of a central square stone tower, or keep. The site was also fortified to guard the entrance to the Silver Burn. From its early beginnings, the castle was continually developed by successive rulers of Mann between the 13th and 16th century. The limestone walls dominated much of the surrounding landscape, serving as a point of dominance for the various rulers of the Isle of Man. By 1313, the original keep had been reinforced with towers to the west and south. In the 14th century, an east tower, gatehouses, and curtain wall were added.
After several more changes of hands the English and their supporters eventually prevailed. The English king Edward I Longshanks claimed that the island had belonged to the Kings of England for generations and he was merely reasserting their rightful claim to the Isle of Man.
The 18th century saw the castle in steady decay. By the end of the century it was converted into a prison. Even though the castle was in continuous use as a prison, the decline continued until the turn of the 20th century, when it was restored under the oversight of the Lieutenant Governor, George Somerset, 3rd Baron Raglan. Following the restoration work, and the completion of the purpose-built Victoria Road Prison in 1891, the castle was transferred from the British Crown to the Isle of Man Government in 1929.
Today it is run as a museum by Manx National Heritage, depicting the history of the Kings and Lords of Mann. Most rooms are open to the public during the opening season (March to October), and all open rooms have signs telling their stories. The exhibitions include a working medieval kitchen where authentic period food is prepared on special occasions and re-enactments of various aspects of medieval life are held on a regular basis, with particular emphasis on educating the local children about their history. Archaeological finds made during excavations in the 1980s are displayed and used as learning tools for visitors.