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High above the sea and the beach flats, on one of the wide terraces shaped by the sea and the ice, lies the farm Støle (Stødle). The Old Norse name of Studla is derived from studill “support, shelf”. As far back as Viking times Støle has been a chieftain’s farm, a good farm on the plains formed by the moraine masses.
The permanently-protected Mosneselva River, with its meltwater from Folgefonna, runs out into Åkra Fjord by the roadless and uninhabited Mosnes. Those who once lived here were forced to surrender to the ravages of Nature. In the autumn of 1962 there was a flood so great that the people were driven from their farms.
Numerous finds show that the settlement at Herdla goes back to prehistoric times, and the large estate at Herdla has enjoyed a central place in the nation’s history since High Middle Ages. As Ask, Herdla was part of the country estate Harald Hårfagre took over as he took command of the west of Norway.
From the 1500s Hop was noble estate for the law speaker in Bergen and Gulen judicial districts. Several of the law speakers were of noble descent, such as Hans Hansen Lillienskiold and Niels Knagenhielm. The beautiful main building, still standing, was erected by the Bergen merchant Thomas Erichsen in 1793-95. He also established a magnificent garden with an 800 metres long linden avenue reaching down to the stone boathouse at Hop harbour.
Ferstad is well worth a visit. The farm lies on a little hillock south of Lekven: a beautiful official residence from the 1700s.