A landscape filled with manors
a region with the highest manorial density in Denmark
There are more than 50 manors in Lolland and Falster – because of the rich soil. Walking, driving and biking the two islands are excellent ways to explore the landscape and visit places that are open to the public. You will notice the change between forest and fields, the characteristic stone walls and the beautiful situation of the manor houses.
Wide open sprawling fields, identical worker houses and long avenues of trees are among the signs still remaining of the impact made by the manors on the Lollandian countryside. Throughout the centuries the manors have imposed themselves on the landscape and turned Lolland into genuine manorial country. Through two permanent exhibitions at the Pedestrup Museum provide the public with the opportunity to delve into the special Lollandian manorial landscape, from the past to the present. With its approximately 50 manors, Lolland is the place with the highest manorial density or concentration in Denmark. The fine-meshed net of manors has historically played a dominant role in the Lollandian landscape as the seat of landownership, power and employment on the island. The manors dominated the local areas socially and physically and influenced the formation of the landscape from the course of roads and track ways to the decoration of the churches.
The landscape of Lolland is full of manorial traces. A tour of the island includes the following characteristic features. The clearest indicators of the existence of manors are the extensive tree-lined avenues that help to give the landscape a gentrified or aristocratic character. A typical feature that we see along the access roads and at the edges of the woods are the worker houses and Polish barracks that left their mark on the manorial landscape from the mid-19th century. In the 19th century a number of the estate owners were buried in beautifully situated groves or between the tall trees in the parks. Following the romantic conception of nature of the period, the burial groves were created in order to emphasize the link of the land owners to the manor or estate. Until the early 20th century many village churches were still owned by the manors. As a consequence, estate owners had the opportunity to influence the selection of parsons together with the collection of the tithe from the copyholders, thereby ensuring the upkeep of the churches. In the 18th century, ownership of the church meant that it increasingly became a locus for the landowning families to display their wealth and importance. Up until 1848 the expansive manorial fields have been excluded from the need to pay tax. In the 18th century wheat was grown in the great estate fields contributing to the wealth of the estates. Throughout the 19th century the manorial fields were enlarged, increasing even more the open nature of the landscape of the great estates.