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Already in the Middle Ages the good harbour at Leirvik provided a connecting point. Here was a court of law, and a guesthouse was established here in the 1600s. But Leirvik never achieved the status of a trading post or a ship-loading place. In the census of 1865 parts of the farms Nordre Bjelland, Leirvik and Orninggård are mentioned as the “Coastal district of Lervig”. And the community grew around the old guesthouse location early in the 1800s.
The tax collector’s farm at Sørhuglo is one of the many farms for state employees in Hordaland. According to history, “Futastovo” was built by the tax collector Gram in the second half of the 17th century. In 1943 the building was moved to Sunnhordland Folk Museum.
The Ådland house is one of the biggest medieval houses still existing in West Norway. It is constructed from unusually large, hard fir wood, beautifully oval-cut. One story links the cottage to the Gildeskålbakken at Orninggård (Lower Ådland); thus indicating that the cottage has been the medieval banqueting hall. The building has been dated back to the 13-1400s by carbon dating.
The old “recorder residence” at Helleland has been both residence for the district recorder and officer’s residence. The main building, which came under protection in 1924, was built in 1764 by the curate Christian Heiberg. When he was appointed parish priest in Jølster, he sold the farm to the state employee Geelmuyden, who resold the farm to Hans De Knagenhielm in 1774. He was the head of “Søndre Hardangerske kompani” (a local army division).
Hesthamar, some kilometres north of Utne, is one of the oldest residences for a district recorder in the country. In 1637, barely 50 years after the office of the district recorder was established in 1591, the local people bought this residence from the bailiff Lauritz Johnsen on Torsnes. From 1659 the district recorders lived here, intermittently, up to 1790. This is when Helleland at Lofthus became a “recorder” farm.
The farm Huse is situated on a broad terrace in the valley above the church and the commons ground in Kinsarvik. Huse is one of the largest farms in Kinsarvik. The house from the Middle Ages, still standing at Huse today, probably from the middle of 1200, is joined on to a house in the Swiss style from around 1890. This house, with a smoke-vent in the roof, bears witness of a grand old farm and of the chieftain’s power in early medieval times.