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Norheimsund seen from Tolo around the turn of the former century.

Norheimsund seen from Tolo around the turn of the former century.  The farm Norheim is to the right and to the left Sandven hotel. (O. A. Svanøe, eigar: Universitetsmuseet i Bergen (Sv. 858)).

Norheim, “the farm by the narrow sound” is mentioned in a diploma from the Middle Ages and in an inheritance document. This is one of the large farms in Hardanger, of those that belonged to the powerful families; Sandven in Kvam, Torsnes in Jondal, Aga in Ullensvang and Spånheim in Ulvik.

In the Middle Ages Norheim had a large landed property: Vines, Sekse, Espe, Alvsåker, Hesthamar, Kjerland, Tveit, Bu, Nesheim, Ålvik, Nesthus, Skutlaberg, Gørvingasetr and Hallaråker. As far back as it is possible to follow the farm, Norheim has been divided into two holdings; in 1640 these were split into two new holdings, and in 1900 inner and outer Norheim had a population of 139 persons. The oldest smokehouse still left on the farm, has had arched doors and probably dates from the late Middle Ages. The house bears the marks of having been dismantled and put up again. Nearby was another smokehouse, which was pulled down around 1880. This house was painted by Tidemand in 1867 and in 1873. In the hayshed are 7 large corner staves, with carved fish-bone pattern, perhaps stemming from a house chapel, such as the one at Aga. Bishop Neumann, who visited Norheim in 1825, noted “12 canellated columns”, which, according to legend, had been intended for a church.

  • Sælen, F. (1957) Sandven hotel 100 år: 20. mai 1857-20. mai 1957. Norheimsund, Sandven turisthotell
  • Tveit, L. (1945) Sandven Landhandel 100 år.
  • Vikør, L. J. (1956) Frå Grovi i eldre tid. Bergen.