The first known reference to Hald is from 1328 when it was owned by Rigsmarsk Ludvig Albertsen Eberstein. Then known as Brattingsborg, was located to the east of the current main building. Niels Bugge acquired Hald in 1346 and built a new main building where he took up residence. He was active in the uprising against King Valdemar IV and was later killed on the way back from failed peace negotiations at Slagelse. Bugge's son-in-law Skarpenberg took over Hald but soon had to sell it to Queen Margaret I who later gave the estate to the Bishop Seat in Viborg in 1383.

The third Hald was built in 1528 for Jørgen Friis, Bishop of Viborg, on a small peninsula reaching into the lake. Ruins surrounded by tall earthworks can still be seen at the site, although the remains of a tower in masonry are partly a reconstruction. The fourth Hald was completed in 1703 for General Gregers Daa. It was a four-winged half-timbered building located a little south of the current building, in the current park, but nothing remains of it today. The Fifth Hald, was built in 1798 for Ove Høegh-Guldberg, who had served as Prime Minister from 1772 to 1784. Hald Manor is a single storey building with a 3-storey central section, originally built as a gatehouse in 1798. The two pavilions in the park were probably built in 1795.

The Danish Centre for Writers and Translators was founded in 2002. It offers writers, translators and illustrators free stays where they can work in a peaceful environment. The centre also hosts and arranges various public literary events. A barn from the mid-18th century was renovated in 2008 and is now home to an exhibition about the area's geography, nature and history.

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User Reviews

Elizabeth Meacham (2 months ago)
Beautiful and quiet, an interesting place to visit for the history and to have a walk or picnic
Lasse Hjorth Madsen (15 months ago)
Absolutely beautiful location for this historical building, now serving as a writers getaway. Must come and stay someday for a writing project.
Michael Møller (2 years ago)
Ikke noget videre og komme efter Mangler virkelig info om hvordan man kommer fremvtil ruinen
Per Due (2 years ago)
Beautiful nature surroundings a visit please
Adi Kurniawan (3 years ago)
Did not enter but just roamed outside. Some renovation works going on.
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.