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.
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.
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.
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.
At the southern end of the bridge between Radøy and Fosnøy archaeologists found an unusual Stone Age settlement. There was a thick “cultural layer” here with the remains of the waste dumps of a hunting people. The place was called Kotedalen. Here they came, one group after the other, and settled for some weeks, some months, or maybe years before they went on, leaving the settlement deserted. Time after time it happened. At least 16 settlement phases have been identified, stretching over 5,500 years.
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.
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.
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
The hostelry place in Bruknappen is situated north in Radsundet, just south of Festo, by a sheltered idyllic bay, close to the main lane. Sloops both from Sognefjorden and Nordland had their fixed stops at “the blacksmith in Bruknappen”; on their way to Bergen, fully loaded with wood and hazel hoops, barrels and chests, or on their way home with town merchandise.