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Ænes, Kvinnherad

The church at Ænes is beautifully situated on the headland facing the sea. (Svein Nord).

Ænes has been one of the prosperous farms at the Mauranger Fjord in medieval times. At the time of Harald Gilles, around 1130, we hear of GAUT at Ænes. The noble families around the Hardanger Fjord were prominent in the political sphere from early on, and it is obvious that the fine and openly situated farm at Ænes was also a good place for a Church.

The stone church at Ænes is probably built in the second half of the 13th century. Whether there has been a stave church here earlier we do not know with certainty. The stone church has walls that are 1.5 m thick; it is a small one-nave church with a narrower chancel. The present, somewhat flatter roof, was put on during a reconstruction in 1869. The western spire in wood was also erected at the time. Earlier on there was a rectangular window at the south end. This was replaced by two round windows in a restoration in the 1950s. From the 1600s and up to 1901 Ænes and the church belonged to the Rosendal estate.

The sons of Gaut at Ænes, Jon and Munan, became king’s Lendmenn under Magnus Erlingsson. Both brothers lost their lives during the battles with Sverre. Jon’s sons were called Anbjørn and Gaute. Anbjørn was raised by the baglar bishop Nikolaus Arnesson, while Gaute settled at Mel, which some hundreds of years later became part of the Rosendal Barony. The historic sources are not completely equivocal. It has been pointed out that Ænes may be a misspelling of Urnes (in Sogn); in which case the history would be different.

  • Country trading station at Ænes

Landhandelen på Ænes

The country trading station at Ænes is one of the recent ones that were established after 1842. (N. F. Wilse).

  • Høyland, R. (1941) Gjerdeætti. I: Sunnhordland Årbok. Stord, Sunnhordland museum, s. 3-12.
  • Magerøy, H. (1988) Urnes stavkyrkje, Ornes-ætta og Ornes-godset. Historisk tidsskrift, 67 (2), s. 121-144.
  • Sydnes, K. (1929) Gjerdetunet i Kvinnherad. I: Sunnhordland Årbok. Stord, Sunnhordland museum, s. 51-54.