Glorup manor house is considered one of the finest Baroque complexes in Denmark. Glorup is first mentioned in 1390, but nothing is known about the building at that time and the name may refer to a village rather than a building. The first reliable documentation of Glorup is from the Renaissance Age, when Christoffer Valkendorff built a four-winged house in two storeys with four towers, surrounded by a moat. It was an impressive building for its time but only the foundation with the cellar and a sandstone tablet with a horse and the Valkendorf coat of arms are left of this house. Nowadays the tablet is placed over a door in the old riding-house.
Glorup was owned by the Valkendorf family from 1400 to 1661, when they were forced to sell the estate following the destructions of the Northern Wars. Glorup was then owned by the Ahlefeldt family from 1661-1711 before coming into the pocession of the Plessen family in 1711. In 1723, Privy Councillor Christian Ludvig Scheel-Plessen inherited Glorup and, from 1743 to 1744, rebuilt the house with the assistance of architect Philip de Lange. One storey disappeared and a Mansard roof was put on all four wings. The house was plastered and whitewashed. The form-language of the time was Baroque.
After the death of Scheel-Plessen in 1762, Glorup was purchased by Count Adam Gottlob Moltke of Bregentved, who at the same time bought Rygaard, the neighbouring manor, for 120,000 rigsdaler. The cost was partly covered by a prize of 60,000 which he had won on the lottery together with the dowry he received from his second wife. Moltke, a prominent and skillful farmer, put the manor on its feet again, helped by the rising prices of agricultural products in Europe. Count Moltke was very pleased with his new acquisition, but the house already looked old-fashioned. He therefore decided to have it modernized, commissioning Denmark's foremost architect, Nicolas-Henri Jardin, who had just assisted him at Marienlyst Palace, and his architectural designer Christian Josef Zuber.
Glorup Manor consists of four low white-washed wings with window frames, cornices and pilasters partly painted yellow. It is topped with a large Mansard roof in glazed black tile. The flèche on the roof was added from 1773 to 1775. A broad flight of steps leads up to the main entrance, and there are similar steps on the north and south sides of the house. The inside contains a series of elegant rooms, especially the dining hall decorated in gold and white and the entrance hall with its double staircase. The chapel from 1898 is built in Neo-Gothic style. It has a Catholic interior and a sepulchral chapel. The park was laid out between 1862 and 1875 by landscape architect Henrik August Flindt. An obelisk in the park commemorates a family reunion at Glorup in 1778.
The Moltke family, since 1843 as Moltke-Huitfeldt, still owns Glorup and Rygaard. The building seen today is in almost all respects as it was in 1765. The home farm was moved away from the main building in the 1860. The park has public access. The Glorup Estate with Rygaard Manor extends over 1,132 hectares.References:
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.