The daily life at the farm – a journey in time and development
Findings at the farm indicate that there was a great deal of trade-related activity here during the Viking Age. The Black Death reached Norway during the autumn of 1349. Stokke Nedre was one of ten farms in Vardal that were spared for the most dramatic consequences of the plague, but many other farms were left desolated. Some farms were not able to continue as several families lost all of its members.
The following 200 years was a quiet period characterised by regression in several areas, and agriculture did not undergo any development of significance. However, this trend turned during the 1600s, and from around 1666, the summer lodge at Gammelvangen was used actively. The farm built a new summer lodge named Stokkesetra between 1866 and 1875. There was both pasture and swath at the summer lodge.
In 1723, the farm could count 1 horse, 1 horse that it shared with another farm, 9 cows, 10 sheep and 6 goats. The farm also had a milkmaid to take care of and herd the animals. The shieling was in operation until 1939.
There were no animals at the farm from 1975 to 2019. The work at the farm consisted of cultivating the soil and forestry. In the 1860s, the farm functioned as a posting station, and was also a boarding house in a period of time after 1927. From the turn of the millennium, Stokke Nedre has hosted guests for accommodation, social gatherings and different events.
The owners of today has, in addition to forestry and agriculture, further developed and invested in tourism at the farm. As before, the farm remains a place for trade.
The Second World War reached Stokke Nedre in April 1940. German troops occupied the farm and planned to settle down here.
Most of the people living at the farm sought refuge at a summer lodge in the forest, but Hans Forseth refused to vacate the property. He was directed by the Germans to a room for the servants at the farm.
The occupiers settled down, but fortunately they left the farm already after a few days. It must have been a hurtful sight to see the mess they left after them. Rumour has it that pea soup was hanging down from the apple trees when they left. (Source: H. Brynhi interview with Martha Stensrud, February 2000)
Did you know that…
”Sveiser” is an old expression for a male cattleman. The first cattlemen came to Norway from Switzerland during the 1800s. Their job was to take care of cattle and other farm animals, and to make the most out of the milk by conserving it in the best possible way. They did this by making cheese and butter, as well as producing other dairy products.