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Hjelmevågen, Øygarden

Hjelmevågen (Svein Nord).

On the farm Hjelmo, furthest north in Øygarden, in the innermost part of a long bay, there is a fine boatshed collection with a church beside it. From times immemorial this has probably been the fish-shed location for these farm units and this was also the landing place for the churchgoers.

Through the centuries Indre Hjelmevågen has been harbour for the farms at Hjelmo. A good harbour and deep soil were the main reasons the church was built here. After Herdla was made a separate parish in 1868, Hjelmo still belonged to Manger parish – immediately across the Hjelte fjord – belonging under Bø parish. Ytre Bø chapel, which was the original name for Hjelme church, was consecrated in 1875. In 1902 Hjelme became a separate parish, which in 1916 was transferred to Herdla parish.
All the farms at Hjelmo cooperated in financing the church, and the payment was set in accordance with the size of the farms. At one time the users were obliged to bring a boatload earth to the churchyard.

Ferrying the priest was taken in turns. The four rowers needed had a long and tough trip across the Hjelte fjord to Manger to collect the priest.
The good harbour does not have the same importance today as it had a hundred years ago, when the sea was the main thoroughfare. Today this fine fishing environment has been protected and repaired to its former state. And if you need transport, you can rent a boat here to get to the fjord.

  • Alsaker, S. (1989) Fra sild til olje: et fiskevær fra jernalderen. Arkeo, 1989(1), s. 4-11.