The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Standing Stone / Menhir


Tjølling in Larvik has several prehistoric sites. On road 303 between Larvik and Sandefjord, about 500 meters after the takeoff to Ula, on the north side of the road some 50-100 meters out in an open field stands Hasle-steinen (i.e. The Hasle Stone). About 4,8 meter above ground it is one of the larger standing stones in Norway.

Placed at the highest point in a terrain that slopes towards Indre Viksfjord in the southwest and towards Hemskilen and the Istre-Syrist river in the north-east. The placement a few meters north of the absolute top can be explained by the fact that when the sealevel was higher (about 5 meters 500CE), the wind and waves on the the Viksfjord-side saved a bigger accumulation of matter to the south of the stone.

If the stone was raised as early as 200-400 BCE, there was a narrow isthmus, from the stone it was 50 meters to the beach of Hemskilen and about 150 meters to the sea at Viksfjord. It has been suggested that the stone was raised as a sign that boats could be dragged over land there.

A local tradition links the stone to the first Vestfold king, Halfdan Kvitbein (or Hvitbein, i.e. Halvdan Whitebone), that may have lived up to the mid-700. According to Snorre Sturlasson he was buried ("hauglagt") in Skiringssal at Skjæreid. That the eid (i.e. isthmus) in Skjæreid is the same istmus were the stone stands is unlikely.

There have been several burialsites close by, even another standing stone (that was moved and parts of it used as a bridge over a brook on the farm). 10 to 15 meters from the stone, N. Nicolaysen found in the 1860-ies, a large flat stone that the local farmer called the giants grave. This may be one of the two flat stones that a later farmer, Hans A. Hasle, found when digging in may 1913, close to the standing stone. These flat stones was placed upon smaller stones, and there was a circle of smaller stones around (diameter 3 meter).

Doctor Arent Augestad, wrote down a story in 1903 that he had heard from an 80 year old woman of Hasle farm. She had heard it in her youth from an old woman (probably Sibille Eriksdatter, that died in 1847). Sibille once came from town with her child and heard noices in the wood, she thought it was her husband trying to scare her. They were both young and she was not scared. Then a large darkclad man runs towards the stone. Around the stone were many people, and the man flew into the crowd and caused great alarm, and then everything was gone. Sibilly still wasn't scared, but when she came home it took a long time before the could tell anyone what she had seen - wrote doctor Augestad. (Source: Tjølling bygdebok, 1974, vol. 1 p. 131)
Posted by Vragebugten
6th July 2008ce
Edited 6th July 2008ce

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