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Inn and hotel in Gredstedbro

The inn was established by the customs inspector at Gredstedbro, which could thus serve the hungry and thirsty travellers while they waited for their customs papers.


Customs office and inn

Gredstedbro customs office was established in 1571. When there was a large drove of cattle, it could easily take a few days before the export duties were sorted and paid. You had to go to Ribe with the customs documents and back again, and during that time there was obviously a need for both space and refreshments for both man and beast. It would seem that the problem was solved when the farmer, who had been employed as a customs inspector, also took it upon himself to run a kind of inn.

The first time the inn was mentioned in writing was in a priest report in 1651, where it says:”In Gredstedbro an inn, which is the king’s”. At that time, both the inn and the customs office was run by Jørgen Lassen.

The village was called Gredsted, and the inn was called Gredstedbro. It was only in 1887 that Gredstedbro became the official town name.



The inn becomes a hotel

In 1857, the inn was bought by Johannes Clausen, whose son, Marius, took it over in 1896. It was his intention to continue running the inn in the same spirit as his father, but things did not go very well. This was partly because the inn was by now somewhat run down and needed renovation, and partly because in 1875 a railway was established between Bramming and Ribe with Gredsted station as the only stop between the two towns.

This meant that he had to think in new ways, so in 1905 Marius Clausen decided to demolish the old inn and build a brand new one on the current ground due north of Vilslevvejen.

Some farmland belonged to the inn and Marius was actually better suited at farming than innkeeping, so he obtained a tenant for the running of the inn and tried his own hand at farming the land. He cultivated the soil, but he also began to sell land as building plots, which were in great need since the railway and the station had taken over the town. He also gave some ground to the co-operative society in 1903 and the ground for Gredstedbro Church, which was inaugurated in 1925.




‘Kroen ved Broen’

Marius Clausen’s new inn became Gredstedbro Hotel, which from 1917 to 1963 was a temperance hotel. In 1918, the hotel tenant N.C. Andersen, wanted to try something new and bought a hotel in Ribe. This meant that Marius Clausen had to find a new tenant, and in conjunction with that he could also apply for a new spirits license. These were the rules of that time.

However, in the meantime, the Inner Mission had gained power in many societies, including Jernved, where parish council refused point blank to give Clausen a license. He could not accept this rejection, so he sold the hotel and bought some ground just south of the river Kongeå in Hjortlund parish, where they were rather more accommodating with regards to spirits. It was here that he built ‘Kroen ved Broen’ (The Inn by the Bridge) just a few hundred metres from Gredstedbro Hotel and was granted his spirits license.


Author: Ole Steinmeier, Jernved Parish archives


Sources and literature:

H. N. Skade: Gredstedbro ved Kongeåen, Historisk Samfund for Ribe Amt 1968

Jernved Parish archives see http://gredstedbroegnen.dk/foreninger/sognarkivet/



3.      Kro and hotel in Gredstedbro

a.       Filnavn: gredstedbro hotel 1905

Tekst: Travelling party at Hotel Gredstedbro in 1905.

Foto: Jernved Parish archives

b.      Filnavn: GredstedbroHotelB2
Tekst: Hotel Gredstedbro approx. 1910. The barn to the right of the hotel has been demolished.
Foto: Jernved Parish archives

c.       Filnavn: IMG_0002
Tekst: Dragoons in front of the hotel in the First World War.
Foto: Jernved Parish archives


d.      lokal-placering