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Farming and History
Versland Gard started in 1998, and is run by Berit Versland and Ernst Herredsvela. The production of Norsk pelssau is one of the farm's priority areas. On the farm you can also find other breeds of sheep, dairy cows and nursing cows. In the spring of 2021, the farm's first nursing cow - calf came into the world, and is the start of a new and exciting chapter!
There will be more information about the farm, those who run it and its history shortly.
The farm name Versland is the only one in Rogaland, but in Kvinesdal (Agder) you will also find a farm of the same name. Versland is bordered by Gåsland in the west, Kløgetvedt in the north, Hustoft in the north/northeast and Apeland in the east/south/southwest. There are divided opinions about where the name is rooted. Some believe that the first name (Verse) comes from a male name from older times such as the Old Norse names Vegeirr, Vidrekr or perhaps Veringr. That maybe once upon a time it's been called Veringsland?
Others have believed that the first name may have come from old superstitions and stories of dwarfs. This is due to a large stone found on the farm called Dvergasteinen. The stone has a distinctive shape, and if you look under the stone you can see that it is hollow and that there is room for an adult male to lie inside. Legend has it that dwarfs are said to have lived inside the stone. It was then envisioned that this was a dwarf den where the dwarves sought refuge. It would then be conceivable that the name originated from the area around the stone that was called "the land by which the dwarf stone lay". Thus, the name Versland may have come from the nickname Dverghidsland, a place where the dwarfs could hide.
There are several cultural remains in Versland. On some of the farms there are several burial mounds from the Viking Age. A stone sledgehammer has been found in the area which was set to be about 4,500 years old! Otherwise, you can find ruins of old farm buildings and traces of previous farm activities from the old days.
The oldest known owners
Versland was an inter-age church estate and became a crown estate after the Reformation (1537). When the Black Death had ravaged our country (from 1349), Versland lay deserted, and did not reside until the 16th century. A man named Knud is the first farmer we know the name of during this time. In 1660, after the transition to the sole jewel, the King sold most of the crown estate in Norway to wealthy city mayors. That's when bjerkreim crown estate was sold to a general customs manager in Bergen named Chr. Garmand in 1672. The successors to this man sold the Versland Garden to the Sicers (= thePakts) Lars Larsson in 1776 and Carl Knudson around 1779. Before 1790, most of the farmers on the krongod farms in Bjerkreim were homeowners. In 1856, 56 people lived in Versland. There were five farms and smallholdings on site, there were six families who lived in the homes or lived in their own houses on rented or purchased land.
In 1948, Tønnes Versland took over the home with his wife Berthe Versland, having lived with Tønnes' brother since 1941. By then, the use had been in the family's possession since 1877. In 1951, a new house and sheep house were built on the farm. The building was built in 1923, and the old house on the farm (built in the 1850s) was demolished. Tønnes' son, Oddbjørn, took over the farm from 1 January 1978. During his time on the farm, he built a second house, and there were now two houses. Oddbjørn was unmarried, and when he died in 1997, it was his niece Berit Versland and her husband Ernst Herredsvela who took over the farm in 1998, and moved here with two children who over the years ended up as a herd of three.
To date, Berit and Ernst run the farm. On the farm, their youngest son and their daughter also live with their children. It's crowded on the farm and there's a buzz of life and promising futures!