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The farmhouses at holding No. 15 at Hopland are built together to form a long, continuous building, with dwelling house, hayshed and cowshed built in one row. There have been many such joined structures in the coastal communities, but today there are few remaining. If we travel to the other side of the North Sea, to the Faeroes, Shetland and the Orkney Islands, we find corresponding features in the older building traditions. We find ourselves in a large North Atlantic cultural area.
Isdal one of the few clustered settlements left in the Hordaland communities, after the extensive changes taking place around the turn of the former century, which broke up the shared farms and the old intermixture of strips. The old, low houses are situated in a compact enclosure, which is very noticeable in the landscape when you travel the main road north from Knarrvik.
If you come by sea to Bergen and come up the Herdle Fjord, the yellow ochre marine shed at Holmeknappen is a well known landmark to starboard as you come close to the little shore settlement. In olden days Holmenknappen served important functions as a centre for a wide hinterland of the surrounding farms, warehouse, landing point, country store and later a steamer quay, a hotel (1896) and a dairy (1909). But today Holmeknappen is no longer a focal point. Transport and commercial routes have changed the old pattern
In one of the frame-built haysheds at Nottveit, at holding No. 3, we discover that several of the staves have a medieval look, with large dimensions and carefully rounded edges. According to tradition, it was the farms Nottveit and Mostraumen that supplied the timber for the stave church at Mo, and it is not unlikely that these farms received the old timber in return when the new church was erected there in 1593.
Tthe Otterstad farms lie in the innermost part of Mofjorden, on the northwest side of the river. The row of stave-built boatsheds that belong to the farm were probably constructed a little after the middle of the 1800s. Both here and on the Mo side, the boatsheds were important storage places at the seashore; wood and other farm products intended for the town; corn and merchandise in return.
In the sunny, steep fjord landscape along Sørfjorden on the east side of Osterøy is the farm Havrå. The small “hamlet” is one of the few undisturbed farming communities that gives us the impression of the large communal yards in West Norway in the 1700s, with houses built close together and strips of arable land.
In the lightly undulating landscape at Boga there lies an old house with several rooms on a small rise. In fact it looks like three houses built into one another; a scullery, a living room and a store with a loft. From other sources we know that this house had covered passageways and sheds round all the walls in the 19th century; a compressed “long house” with inter-connections between all the rooms. This is a building style from the Middle Ages that we see traces of; a building corresponding to those we have seen remains of at Høybøen in Fjell and Lurekalven in Lindås. Bogatunet was restored in 2006.
From written sources we know that the farm Gullbrå was in use early in the 1600s. The Apostolic church in Bergen owned land here that it rented out, but even early in the 1600s some of the land was in private ownership. Eksingedalen then belonged to Modalen parish, which was under Hamre parish. In 1723 the Apostolic church still had properties here, and Ivar and Lars were farmers.
On an east-facing slope above Halllandsvatnet lies the farm hamlet of Øvre Tveiten, two kilometres north of Manger. The stone hayshed lies with its gable out into the sloping terrain, and the old dwelling house, a little long house, has solid stone walls on three sides. But inside the walls the hayshed and the living rooms are wooden buildings.