A burial mound clearly marked and highly visible in the flat landscape along the entrance to the Trondheim Fjord. Strategically placed between the fjord and the coastal thoroughfare. An area where powerful men and women have resided. Powerful families with estates and the ability to control traffic across both land and sea.
The mound was situated close to the farm. During the summer of 1997, peat was removed from a large area alongside the mound, and traces of several houses were discovered. The oldest dwellings stood here as early as the Pre-Roman Iron Age (500-0 B.C.), and show that the farm remained settled through many generations. Large and long houses, a sizeable farm, from the very start. New houses replaced older ones, as centuries passed. And in Roman times, around 300 A.D., the largest farmhouse is 41 meters long and 7-8 meters wide. A grand home for a grand family.
The chief stands at the foot of the farm’s majestic burial mound. This is where his father was buried three summers ago. He seeks his ancestors’ counsel, asking them to grant him strength in the coming days. Influential visitors, both local and foreign, are on their way to Hovde. They will negotiate for the important iron which is produced in large quantities in the settlements further inland along the fjord. A prized commodity along the coast, and in countries further south. Everyone trading iron must negotiate with the Hovde chief. It is said that he holds the keys to Trøndelag.
For over 600 years, the chiefs at Hovde have held this power. From the longhouses by the fjord, generation after generation have managed trade and shipping routes coming through the Trondheim Fjord.
Restoration – new life for an old giant
Obscured, hidden and forgotten. The centuries pass, the longhouses give in to time. The remains wither and disappear. The burial mound lies damaged beneath vegetation and wilderness. Mass is regularly removed from the mound.
A strategic location, indeed! The Germans agreed, which is why they constructed an anti-aircraft artillery position here during the Second World War. Parts of the mound were dug through and further damaged. And the mound remained in this state until the autumn of 2012. For most people, knowledge of the mound was lost.
During the autumn of 2012, the mound was repaired, allowing it to once again dominate the landscape. The restoration involved replacing mass which had been removed throughout the centuries, by filling holes and other discrepancies. Soil was added, and grass planted.
The Hovde barrow is a monument to the passing of generations at Ørlandet. And to the historical significance of the area.