Ragnhilds Gård

Ragnhilds Gård

Ragnhilds Gård

The history of the farm house

The history of the farmhouse

The farms of Nyord

Nyord Local History Society, April 2019

Since the 1500s, there have always been 20 farms clustered in the village on the south coast of the island. The 20 farms had a total of 200 acres of arable land and 600 acres of beach meadows. All farms had equal land holdings, and when the three-field system was replaced in the early 1800s, each farm was given 10 acres of arable land and 30 acres of meadow.

In addition to farming, pilotage was a secondary occupation, and in 1721 pilotage was regulated so that all farm owners were obliged to pilot through the difficult waters of Nyord.

Pilotage then provided a steady income and gradually became dominant. The income from the pilots made it possible to buy their way out of court, and it also made it possible to build relatively large farms in the 18th century.

In 1879 the pilot service was reorganised and the peasant pilots were set aside. From then on, the family on the farm had to live solely on the income from farming. Now the stable, barn and shed were adapted to a rational operation based on cattle farming and milk. The relatively spacious agricultural buildings are furnished in this period.

grundrids af gaard på møn
Floor plan of a typical farm on Møn in the 17th century (Bojsen, Møns History)


The farm number does not coincide with the land number, but was a number used in everyday life.

In 1769, the farmers of Nyord bought their farms from the Crown Estate on Møn, and Jens Olesen Øster is listed as the buyer of the farm. In 1921 the farm was still owned by a descendant, Peter Øster, but was then sold to Hans Peter Rasmussen, whose daughter Ragnhild Stolt died on the farm in 2017 at the age of 99. The farm is now called “Ragnhild’s farm”, or in Danish, “Ragnhilds Gård”.

When Ragnhild Stolt married her neighbour’s son, it became possible to run the two farms together, making them more profitable.


On a map from 1806, the farm is marked with almost the same blueprint as in 2018. The farm is atypical in that the farmhouse is a long building facing north/south instead of the traditional east/west.

You can see the elongated fortress in the centre of the town.

The eastern wing is in 2018 a dwelling, the northern wing was a stable, the western wing was a shed and barn, while the southern wing contains an outbuilding and a boiler room. Until 1921, the south wing housed Peter Oster’s housekeeper, with the memorable name Agotta Malvine Houman.

ragnhilds gaard nyord 1921
Agotta Houman in the courtyard in 1921

The south wing is located east/west like the other farms in the town, and the division of the rooms is very similar to the traditional division. Farm no. 19 is inverted in relation to the ground plan from the National Museum’s 1945 Working Field on the farms of Nyord.

ragnhilds gaard nyord sydlænge

The open fireplace is still preserved, and also from the outside you can see the division between living quarters and stable in the 7-bay long building.

ragnhilds gaard nyord sydlaengde
South elevation of the south wing 2018 with stable to the left, kitchen in the middle, and dwelling to the right.

It seems likely that the south wing was originally the only permanent building on the farm, but that in the years between the fire of 1763 and the town map of 1806, the farm was greatly extended. This is also consistent with the fact that during this period, the area went from having only sheep and a few cattle to making better use of the beaches by increasing the number of cattle.

During the same period, the income from the pilots was considerable, so there were funds to build the eastern wing, where a modern and comfortable dwelling could be arranged.

The old dwelling may then have been converted into a retirement home in the same way as many of the town’s other farms. Finally, Agotta lived in the apartment when she was the caretaker of Peter Øster.

Agotta Houman in front of the door to her home when she was the caretaker of the farm

The housing in the eastern wing faced the fortress, where the town church, rectory and school were built in 1846. The farm has since then been situated representatively towards the village churchyard.

In the north aisle, a barn has been built that could accommodate 10 dairy cows and calves. In 1899 a dairy was established on Nyord, and therefore the milking herds were adapted to the grazing possibilities offered by the large meadows. The meadows thus became a good source of income.

North of the stable, in 2018, is still the sunken paddock with direct access to Møllestangsvej. The direct access was practical when the dung had to be driven out into the field in the autumn. In the photo from 1965, you can see from the large mound that there has been a well-run cattle herd on the farm.

In Achton Friis’s “The Danish Islands”, Johannes Larsen drew the stable and meeting place from the west in 1922. Today, the motif is largely unchanged, except that the manure reservoir has been emptied and the manure barrow removed.

The west wing contains a barn. Part of the large winter supply of meadow hay was stored in the attic. The rest of the meadow hay was stacked in a large hayloft outside the farm.

Building materials

The whole farm is built in half-timbering, whitewashed “over sticks and stones” as is customary in the region. The roof was originally covered with reeds from the reed forests on the island. The top of the roof was covered with long straw. The timber for the timber frame was shipped to the island because there was no forest. It has been possible to import wood of the best quality and it can be seen that, despite their advanced age, the poles are often fully functional.

In the south wing there is no trace of a footrail, and in the other wings, despite later concrete casting, it can be seen that there was originally a footrail in the timbering. This method of construction was used on Nyord as late as after the fire of 1845, so it is not possible to determine the age of the buildings from this detail.


Farm no. 19 shows the entire commercial history of Nyord in one farm.

The original south wing with open fireplace, when pilotage was less important and farming was primitive.

The representative east wing with dwelling from the golden age of pilotage. In 2018, the building is a vital part of the urban environment around the church.

The two crops illustrate the transition from a secondary agricultural activity to a time when farming – thanks to meadows – became a good source of income. The well-equipped paddock still bears witness to a significant cattle population in the years following the reorganisation of the pilotage.