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Fyn finds

Fyn is the Danish island which lies directly east of Jutland and has a gently rolling landscape punctuated by neat little villages and farms of remarkable cuteness and character. It reminded me very much of Drenthe in the Netherlands, only not flat.

Among this scene of bucolic charm is Glavendrup (featured in The Megalithic European [TME] page 156).

It's a bit like Klæbek Høje, that we saw the day before, in that it started as a Bronze Age barrow to which the Vikings added a whole bunch of girly pink stones. First a large runestone was mounted on top of the barrow, and they also built a skibssætning megalithic longship, of the same pink sparkly Barbara Cartland type stones, with stripes and waves of quartz running through.

The wooded area had also been added to by modern stones, inscribed with the names of 20th century archaeologists who worked here. They looked OK, but reminded me too much of the stone memorials in the woods at Bergen-Belsen to thrill me. The wind chilled me and there was no chance of sketching here.

Magic at Marhøj
At the north east tip of Fyn is a little promentary on which can be found Marhøj (TME page 158), a particularly thrilling giant barrow. In a landscape shared by other fat, high, humpy høj, Marhøj is Queen.

Wading through the dark earth of the field littered with flints, we reached the monument and found the entrance to the passageway leading in is half way up the mound, rather than at ground level. Stooping very low (if you're tall this is almost a hands-and-knees-job) I squeezed down the 5 metre passage flanked with big flat stones to reach the main chamber which runs perpendicular to it.

The main passage was darker the dark. I got out the torch but it was unable to penetrate the blackness at all. I found a bit of candle and lit it. Then I found a tealight and lit that. And another and another and another until the whole chamber, 10ms long was illuminated by 26 tealights. It looked very hygge.

I sat down on the damp earth to inspect the chamber, smoke a cig and have a cuppa. It was vast: seven massive capstones formed the roof, all glistening in with wet in the candlelight making it as cosy as a fairy grotto. Moth scampered around with the tripod taking pictures and collecting more than 25 used tealights. It was cold in there – my breath was condensing - but it was out of the rain and the icy wind. It was fab.

We headed south from Marhøj (there is no other direction you can go on Fyn) to the east side of the island to see Lindeskov which is only given a tiny entry on page 157 of TME.

A complex at Lindeskov
We'd spotted another thing in James Dyer around Lindeskov and sought it out first: Lindeskov langdysser at 168ms (yes, metres!) the longest barrow in Denmark, and certainly the longest I've ever seen. It was never more than a metre high or 5ms wide and had regular kerbstones, giving it a visual rhythm not dissimilar to a millipede. That sounds a bit wanky but it was really like that.

While Moth fluttered around with the camera, I inspected the handy visitors' information board. To my surprise and delight, it showed a map with another six monuments nearby. I looked up in the direction indicted on the board towards a dolmen which I could just see through a hedge. I made a mental note of the map and we set out in search of what turned out to be the Lindeskov Complex: for this was indeed a complex: a series of interconnected monuments, each with clear sightlines to the next and no more than 400ms away at maximum from each other.

I drove up a muddy farm track marked 'Privat Vej' but we went on anyway, as on the map I'd seen it clearly stated public access.

We passed the dolmen standing alone in the field in the same lonely manner as Devil's Den and left the car at the copse at the top of the track and set off into the woodland, first coming across a trashed barrow with a couple of capstones in the middle. Just beyond the trees in a clearing lay two mighty monsters, Lindeskov 2 and Lindeskov 3 a couple of twin sister langdyssers lying directly next to each other and about the same length and width. Each of them had good kerbstones. L2 had a single stone cist and L3 had three good exposed chambers with capstones – looking very like Schimeres at Emmen in Drenthe.

Just 20 ms from the top end of L2 was L5 a rungdysse (round barrow) with kerbstones and an exposed central cist which would not have looked out of place in Scilly.

We felt quite chuffed with our 'discoveries'.

Finally we drove to Lindeskov as featured in TME, a langdysser right at the roadside.

It's a main road but as Denmark has so little traffic it didn't matter. The monument is correctly referred to as Lindeskov 6 and is dribblingly tasty. It's not particularly long, but has five chambers exposed on the top, four of which still have capstones. With its regular pink kerbstones and high, pointy supporting stones holding the capstones aloft it seems all dainty and floaty.

Hygge - cosy
Høj – hill or mound
Jættestue – literally 'giant's stones'
Skibssætning – megalithic longship
Ringdysser – mound or barrow with stones or burial chamber
Dyssekammer – dolmen or burial chamber, I think!
Langdysser – long barrow with stones and/or burial chamber

Photos: Moth Clark

Jane Posted by Jane
10th April 2006ce
Edited 12th April 2006ce

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