Hørby Church, constructed using ashlar stone, was once the estate church of the manor of Hørbylund Hovedgaard and was for a short period owned by the seventeenth-century Danish-Norwegian naval hero Niels Juel. Members of his family are buried at the church.
The trip from Hørby church continues towards Torslev Church and from there by road you reach Ormholt.
Ormholt Hovedgård is an old manor dating back to 1455. The manor is believed to have grown to prominence thanks to the cattle farming in the region. Droving took place along the Ancient Road and the cattle reached buyers further down in Europe.
In the late Middle Ages only the nobility were allowed to own manors. Ormholt’s heritage main buildings bear witness to a bygone era when the aristocracy wielded great political power and possessed great wealth.
There is reason to believe that Ormholt, like other manors in Vendsyssel, built its fortune on cattle breeding, which were reared and herded along the Ancient Road to buyers further down in Europe.
Customs accounts from the 1600s show that in good years about 50,000 cattle were herded down the Ancient Road.
In Ormholt’s eastern wing a woodworm pokes its head out from the gable. Purportedly, the manor is associated with a legend about an ‘Orm’ (i.e. a worm, serpent or even dragon). Alas, there are no written sources but the name of the manor Ormholt (‘holt’ means forest) suggests that this was a place in the forest with plentiful ‘worms’.
From Ormholt Hovedgård we head to Nymølle Bæk. On the way to this protected nature reserve you pass prehistoric barrows. These are a common sight along the Ancient Road. Unfortunately, many barrows have disappeared over the past centuries, ploughed over and reclaimed as farmland. No archaeological studies have yet been made of the barrows here, but the location and dimensions suggest that they are from the early Bronze Age.
There are no traces of prehistoric settlement in the vicinity, although one must assume such settlements must have been located near the hills, which apart from being burial sites also marked the territories of the settlements and strongholds.
One of the most scenic natural areas in Vendsyssel, the natural habitats of Nymølle Bæk include beech forest, meadows, heaths, grasslands, rivers, lakes and alder bogs.
Following the Ancient Road along the stream of Nymølle Bæk you will cross the beautiful old ashlar stone bridge. The bridge was constructed at some point after the 1600s – the date is not known.
Ingeborg Skeel (approx. 1545-1604) was a landowner at Voergaard Castle and also owned a glassworks by Nymølle Bæk in the late 1500s. There, where once the glassworks lay, you can still find shards of glass.