In The Megalithic European, Julian pays little more than a double page spread of lip-service to the long, glorious island of Langeland off the southern coast of Fyn in Denmark, almost certainly due to lack of space in the book and time in the field.
The thing that doesn't come over in Julian's commentary is the sheer variety, intensity and close proximity of monument after monument in this small finger of land. It took us two days to do it justice.
The bridges to get there are mercifully toll-free and the rolling countryside on the island is more enchanting even than the rest of Denmark. Langeland is home to scores of bird species and hares and deer abound. The main town on the island is Rudkøbing which felt very strongly like a far less bleak Kirkwall.
It was Moth's birthday and while we were waiting for our friends to join us for some lunch, we quickly zipped out to see Bjerrebygaard dolmen.
We arrived in blazing sunshine and galloped over the muddy field to reach the stunning monument, cluster of large stones, dolmens with giant capstones and six monster, gnarled 'pantomime' oak trees sticking out of a large mound. Very dramatic.
We spent some time enjoying it until the sky in the northwest darkened suddenly and a wall of weather closed in. We made it back to the car just in time as a full-on blizzard of hailstones pelted down.
Access: A very short walk of a few metres from the road.
Ringlehøj i Snave Skov langdysse is on Langeland. Cross the bridge to Langeland and travel just over 2.5km along the 9. Take a left turn (north) onto the 305 towards Tullebølle, Tranekær and Lohals.
Travel along the 305, passing Bjerrebygaard and going through Tullebølle to Frellesvig. I estimate this is just over 5km from the junction with the 9. Take the left turn (NW) to Frellesvig and then left again (west) to head for the forestry.
At first the trees are only on your left (south), but about 100m after they are on both sides, you should find the monument through the trees on your left - I think there's a sign.
7 April 2006
An impressive but badly damaged monument, it still has quite a few of its kerbstones, but the chamber stones are badly deranged.
The remaining mound is pretty long (60 metres), but looks as if its height has been drastically reduced and its profile has become blended into the ridge it seems to be built on.
Well worth a visit on a sunny day - a peaceful and relaxing spot. I reckon it'd be pretty drab & depressing in bad weather though!
Mentioned in passing in The Megalithic European (TME) on page 168.
Access: The carpark that we found is about 200-300m from the monument, a walk across gently undulating fields. Unfortunately, the fields were in crop so we couldn't reach the monument.
The Langdysse i Ormstrup is on Langeland, and easy to find from Jaettestuekammer ved Kinderballe. Simply continue on the road south for a little over 0.5km, looking out for the road west to Ormstrup (called Tre Hoje but I can't remember if there's a sign).
Take this road - the parking and path to the langdysse are at the 2nd farm on the left, around 500m along.
Visited 5 April 2006
Looks like an absolute corker but we couldn't get close as its field was in crop. We thought about walking down the 'tramlines' left by tractors, but without being able to speak Danish, we wimped out. Gah!
It's possible you may also be able to reach the site from the next road to the south, maybe even when it's in crop, but we didn't have time to investigate.