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Toldgård, Tingvejen and the bridge over the river Kongeå


I grew up by the river Kongeå south of Jernvedlund, close to the old customs yard.  Tingvejen – or ”Æ skro vej” - led down to the former  thingstead, and a small path led down to the Kongeå where for many years a ferryman ferried people across the river.



South of Jernvedlund town, below the banks of the Kongeå is the customs farm ’Toldgård’. It was originally built for the royal customs patrol, popularly called Officer Bole.

The farm was supposedly made by Hans Jessen Hansen, who had a small farm in Plougstrup. He was hardly a skilled farmer, and the rewards were small. He loved to potter around the chopping shed that was well equipped with wheelwright tools from his father's time. Hans Jessen Hansen used his handcraft skills often and among other things he built two customs buildings for the customs authorities - Toldgård and a farm by Rishøj in Plougstrup. To the south of his farm he had a small brick burning site where he could burn the bricks for his constructions.



When I was in school, we learned about the area's old thingsteads. We heard about the thing at Ribe, where Sorte Plov killed the king, Erik II Emune, about how district things were held in the open fields and much more.

For many years, the residents had to go to Hulvad by Læborg when they had to have their official matters sorted at the thing. However, there were thingsteads in Jernvedlund for three years between 1811 and 1814.

Tingvejen was also called ”Æ skro vej”. It went north around my birthplace, past the farm Egesberg and over the hill by Storvad to Plougstrup. It is believed that it was the road Valdemar the Victorious used when he rode towards Queen Dagmar's deathbed in Ribe. In those days, the road went through the old villages and around the big heaths, where robbers and other riffraff might be lurking. It was a safer detour, even though the road was four kilometres longer than the shortest distance between the towns.

Tingvejen gave the name to my birthplace, Tingvejgård. It is the first of the farms called Halegårdene or the burning farms because all three burned down at the same time.

If you followed the road in the other direction, it led down past Toldgård and ended up at the path Tingstien that went through the meadow and down to the wooden bridge that went over the river to Hjortlund Church.


The path and the wooden bridge

The path Tingstien that connected Jernved and Hjortlund has always been the subject of disputes. In the old days there was a ferry across the river, and on the Hjortlund side, there lived a private ferry man who had to be shouted for by the person who wished to cross the river. It was not always so easy to get him to talk when you stood north of the river and wanted to cross to the other side. At the same time, the meadow owners were often dissatisfied that the grass on their land was being trampled on. Therefore, the path was shut down, but the path was reopened after some complaints were made to the county

1876 saw the end of the ferry service, as a wooden bridge was built with the help of voluntary contributions. However, it was built in very flimsy materials, so twenty odd years of icy conditions and poor weather put an end to the bridge. A blacksmith from Hjortlund subsequently paid to make a more stable bridge because he had some customers north of the river.

When the river formed the customs border, the traffic flow across the river often took place at night when goods were being smuggled over. The crops could be damaged by too much tramping from people and animals, and right up to recent times, the changing owners have tried to stop traffic across the meadows, but old habits die hard


Author: Knud Elbæk Sørensen, Jernved Parish archives


Sources and literature:

Henrik Sørensen: Min slægts historie, privattryk.

Henrik Sørensen: Beskrivelse af Tingvejen, privateje.

Red. P. Nygaard: Bidrag til Jernved Sogns Historie, Første Halvbind, Flensborg 1921

Hans Duborg og P. Nygaard: Bidrag til Jernved Sogns Historie, Andet Halvbind, Jernved 1930

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




17.  Toldgård, Tingvejen og Spangen over Kongeåen

a.       Filnavn: Top-002, Hjortlund Spang

Tekst: The bridge known as Hjortlund Spang.

Tegning: Verner Christensen, Jernved