We went to seek out what Dyer describes as: 'a fine round dolmen with a central burial chamber and a ring of kerbstones', the Baronens Høj. He should have just said: 'it's f*cking ace, Jane!'
The setting, the construction, the character and the fact that the sun came out while we were there lifted my heart! What a beautiful place. It perches like a little crown 25 feet above the sea in a clearing which it shares with an old farmhouse.
It reminded me of Innisidgen on Scilly which 'feels' the same. Its immediate neighbour, the old farmhouse was that very distinctive shade of Danish yellow and its thatch was thickly covered in moss. When the sun came out it glowed green and bright – it felt like it was the first time I'd seen Denmark in colour. That was it. Time to get the paints out. At bloody last!
We'd spotted Nørreskov in James Dyer's book 'Discovering the Archaeology of Denmark' and as we were so close thought we'd take a look even if we had already found Dyer to be slightly unreliable, banging on about finds and stuff rather than the monuments. (It's always bloody pottery sherds and amber beads, too.)
Our first Nørreskov monument was at Frydendal Kro in the strip of woodland leading down to the sea. Here we found a rather cute little dolmen emerging out of a round barrow and right next to it, a short barrow (it wasn't long) with a good stone cist in the top.
There were many others lurking in the woods like which went on for a few kilometres hugging the coast.
Suddenly it stopped raining and it looked as if even the sun might appear so we drove through the woods spotting birds (jays, anunidentified-but-mighty-raptor and a goldcrest!) and any suspicious humps with associated stones.
Blommeskobbel is tucked away in woodland off a muddy track – which thankfully you can drive to because it was raining again.
The trees gave some shelter but it was as damp and muddy and joyless as you could ever want. Blommeskobbel cheered me though. How could it not? The site consists of two langdysser and two round barrows, with good kerbing, nicely exposed chambers and lots of character.
I had looked forward to Blommeskobbel not just because the name sounds so cool and it means flower stones in Danish, but because when I first saw page 155 of Julian's 'The Megalithic European' I knew it wouldn't be long before I would have get to Denmark.
I would have liked to have painted here but it was too grey, too damp, too miserable. The weather was forecast to dry up later, but there was no sign of that as we headed up the coast a tiny bit from Blommeskobbel towards Nørreskov, 5 kms away.
Approximate long/lat coordinates only, but shouldn't be too hard to find - famous last words!
Access: In woodland, a short walk through the trees on fairly level & fairly even ground. May be boggy and/or slippery in wet weather. Just about visible from road - you can certainly see the road from the monuments, at least when the trees aren't covered in leaves!
On the island of Als, so travel towards Sønderborg on the 8. Continue on the 8 until you are nearly at Fynshav, looking out for a turning left to Helleved (& probably Elstrup) - the road may be called Katry. Take this and prepare to take the next right, 'Helved' (not sure if there is a sign that tells you its name).
The road bears left and enters a forest. At the first crossroads (very approximately 1km along this road) turn right and pretty much immediately, the monuments are in the trees on your right.
Visited 2 April 2006
Here there is a dolmen in the almost flattened remains of its runddysse mound, and a very 'shallow' (flattened, I assume) langdysse with an open cist-like chamber.
Pretty underwhelming, but worth a look if you're travelling to the more impressive sites in the area.
Apparently, on the other side of the road, there are 3 large burial mounds. We didn't investigate, as the trees on that side seemed much more dense....