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Stålekleivloftet - one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world

Is the storehouse of the legendary woman Åse Stålekleiv the oldest profane wooden building in the world? The traditional storehouse situated here at Vindlaus, is a part of the Museum of Vest-Telemark in Eidsborg. It is, however, not like any other traditional storehouse. It has a unique story behind it which goes far back in time.

For centuries it has been resisting weather and wind here in Eidsborg. But for how long?

If we take a close look at the notching, we will find the use of a technique which is called «finnlandslaft» (Finlandnotching). This type of notching has not been in use in Norway since before the Black Death, which came in year 1349.

The storehouse gets even older when we investigate the runic at the second level which says: «These runes were carved by Vestein. Victory to both the one who carved and the one who rules». This is dated to around year 1300. Still, this is not all. When the storehouse was dated by the Norwegian Center of Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), it was revealed that the thimber had been cut just shortly after year 1167. This makes this storehouse one of the oldest profane wooden building in Norway – maybe in the World!

The age, however, is not the only thing that makes this storehouse unique. According to folklore the building was the first storehouse raised in Eidsborg, and it was not erected for just anyone. Around year 1200, an especially rich woman by the name Åse Stålekleiv, owned most of the local community. Because she needed a place to store all her linen, her sons built her a large storehouse for this purpose.

This was not an everyday occurrence. The area around the storehouse was eventually turned into a separate farm which got the name Lofthus. From there the storehouse was moved in 1840 to the farm Vindlaus which is part of West-Telemark Museum Eidsborg.


Last updated: 01/02/2024

Source: Vest Telemark

Stålekleivloftet - one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world

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