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Kræmmerholmen is one of the old privileged trading posts. From the 1600s all trading in West Norway took place in Bergen, and the farmers were obliged to travel into town in order to sell their produce and buy what they needed. In Bergen City Privilege of 1702 the merchants in the city were allowed to establish “Trading posts in the countryside”. The owner had to have residency in Bergen and the trading post was to be run by an assistant. In this way the city retained financial control of those living in the districts, and not least with buying and selling of fish.
Furthest north in the island community Rongevær, at the entrance to Fensfjorden, lies Krossøy. Belonging to the farm are the islands of Krossøy, Husøy, Kårøy, Lyngkjerringa, Søre Kjerringa, Rotøy and Kuhovet. All of them have been inhabited. On Krossøy itself today there are four holdings. The marine use environment here is one of the best preserved along the West Norwegian coast.
If you take the sea route north you have several options. The various routes have been dealt with in history, and through the Middle Ages the traffic increased as well as the trading with Nordland in fish and herring, feather and down. One of the central routes passes through Kjelstraumen, in the sound between Ulvøy and Bakkøy. This has been a place for a guesthouse since 1610, with Royal Letter of Privilege, part of the large network of trading post and guesthouse locations along the coast.
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
Hernar is a small group of islands northwest of Seløy, an old outlying harbour on the western route. This is where ships were lying in wait for favourable weather before heading out west, and this is where the ships from the western Isles came in. Hjeltefjorden is proof of this. The fjord is named after the people from Hjaltland (Shetland).
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.
Herdlevær lies on one of the small islands west of Hjeltefjorden, facing the North Sea and the big ocean. Today you may arrive there by car. The numerous islands are linked together by elegant bridge spans made of concrete. Fifty years ago it was half a day’s journey to get to Herdlevær from the mainland by your own rowing boat or ferry.
Landro has been the largest estate on Sotra, including 15 farms with reasonable conditions for agriculture. Their boathouses have had an excellent harbour in Landrovågen. Landro thus has been a good basis for the combination of agriculture and fishing.
Up to 1842 it was necessary to have a royal letter of privilege in order to carry out trade. According to the law only city dwellers were allowed to obtain such a privilege, and in Hordaland it was thus the citizens of Bergen who owned and ran the trading centres. In 1842, following a liberalisation of the trading legislation, the privilege arrangement was abandoned and anyone could apply to the municipal council for permission to carry out trading activity. Landøy is one of the places that were established in this period.
The old guesthouse location in Brattholmen on the east side of Litlesotra, was probably established in the first half of the 1700s. A list from 1748 mentions that the place “for some years has been inhabited by an Enrolled Sailor by the name of Peder Michelsen”. As was the case for most other military hosts, he was exempt from paying income tax.