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Skerrildgaard - Story

The original Hofman buildingThe history of Skerrildgaard (click here for map) goes back to the beginning of the 17th century. This makes the estate a relative new manor, initially a farm which later was elevated to a manor house unless certain other circumstances says something very different. Because, in the garden of Skerrildgaard there is an almost circular island planted with high trees and surrounded by a deep waterfilled grave. A veritable middle-age remain, roomy enough to house a tower to which the inhabitants of the farm could escape in times of danger. Anyhow, it is a undisputable evidence that Skerrildgaard has housed herrenvolk during the disant ages before the Reformation.

There are some indications of owners before the 17th century but it is unlikely that they lived on the farm. An old legal document states that Skerrildgaard was connected to the nearby Nebsager Skovgaard, both owned by a certain Peder (last name unknown). In the middle of the 1560's, Iver Lunge, owner of
Tirsbaek, Long in Jutlandish, converted the farm to a noble manor house by moving out the peasants who lived there. He died in 1587. His son was Ove Lunge who died in 1609 and the manor went to his sister Kirstine Lunge who died in 1614. From her it came to the daughter of Ejler Bryske of Dallund, Lisbeth Bryske who was married to Henrik Bille of Billeskov. He is stated as owner of both Skerrildgaard and Tirsbaek in 1638. However, already in 1635 it appears the manor was given over to their oldest son Mogens Bille. He had traveled to foreign universitites and was employed as vassal at Koldinghus at the early age of 26. He died five years after. His brother Knud Bille took over in 1655. In 1666, he moved to another estate (Ørumgaard) and the manor went to his brother Sten Bille.  The manor was then inherited by his daughter Henrikke Sofie Bille who married Henrik Brahe of Hvedholm in 1698. He sold the manor to Laurids Christensen Vesterhof of Kongstedlund in 1703. In 1707, the ownership was transferred to Johannes Lindberg who sold them to Peder Christensen Thonboe, the husband of Anne Cathrine Hofman.

In 1712 (or 1711), 
Søren Hofman, Administrator of Justice, bought Skerrildgaard (he was later enobled in 1749 as Sören de Hofman). When he bought the estate, a large and important period followed for Skerrildgaard. The de Hofman repuation was very high. His oldest son Hans de Hofman purchased the manor from his father in 1744. Hans de Hofman lived on Skerrildgaard during the years 1743 to 1761 and is clearly the most important and influential owner of the estate. In 1760, he became President in the nearby town of Fredericia and in 1773 he was elected Amtmand over Koldinghus county. Throughout his life, he was devoted to helping the local farmers with cultivating the moorlands of Jutland and his contribution to these efforts were siginificant. At his funeral in 1793, large numbers of farmers paid their respect. Both Sören de Hofman and Hans de Hofman had drawn up legates to support the poor workers on the estate in 1744 and 1755. The money was also distributed to older men and women over 60 years of age and continued until 1971. The sums varied between 26 and 34 kronor.

Hans de Hofman was buried in Nebsager church, close to Skerrildgaard. He had been instrumental in renovating the church and its interior. When he sold his estate, it had been agreed that he should rest under the altar in the church. However, his grave was dug up and removed in 1872. His younger and very successful brother Tycho de Hofman, is also buried at Nebsager church. In the church, there are two large epitaphs in memory of the brothers.

Skerrildgaard was bought by Jörgen Hvaas in 1761 and then had a host of owners until the Tingleff family purchased the estate in 1912. It has been in this family ever since. The current owners are Lene and Claus Tingleff.

  View Skerrildgaard picture gallery.


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