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For more than 350 years Engesund has been a place for hostelries and trading in the Fitjar islands. The place is centrally placed in the shipping lane, with a sheltered harbour close to the exposed Selbjørnsfjorden. Engesund was once part of the great network of historical stopover places on the coast.
The old trading post lies at the sound between Stord and Færøy in Langenuen. There was a country store and steamship forwarding agent up to 1964. The trade was then moved over to the new ferry harbour of Sandvikvåg.
The old hostelry centres were strategically placed with good harbours and anchoring conditions where people travelled. GODØYSUND, or Gøysundet, as it was called, was in the middle of Tysnes Parish, with easy access from the sea, also for the local population. Gøysundet is amongst the oldest hostelries in Sunnhordland.
Kubbervik, or Vikjo as it was known colloquially, must have been established as a trading post under the farm of Håland some time around 1600. The reason for this was probably the thriving trade on Scotland. Every year ships from the islands in the west came to buy lumber in Bårsund. Vikjo was the harbour in use, as the place is ideally situated on the route through Bårsund, the sound between Reksteren and Tysnesøy.
The trading post down by the fjord at Kyrping does not belong to the oldest group of trading posts from the 1600s and 1700s. It was only after the liberalisation of the trading legislation that trade was established here.
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.
Mosterhamn is one of the old privileged trading posts situated centrally in the shipping lane, whether the ships sailed on Langenuten, Nyeleia through Fitjar or into the Hardanger Fjord. From prehistoric times Bømlo and Moster were the first landing places when arriving from the west; a landscape with good harbours.
Neshamn must be an ancient place for meeting and spending the night for travellers. The place blossomed in connection with the times of economic expansion in the 1500s, which to a large extent was linked to the Scottish trade at this time. Neshamn was a loading place for Scottish ships for two hundred years, up to the middle of the 1700s.
The Barony of Rosendal lies in the grounds of the old noble estate of Hatteberg, on the north side of the Hatteberg river, around one kilometre up from the sea. The three noble estates Seim, Mel and Hatteberg constituted the core of the large estate taken over by Ludvig Rosenkrantz in 1662, after he was married to Karen Mowat in 1658.