Jonas Lau Markussen

The Hørning Plank

Reconstruction illustration of the decoration of the outer side of the Hørning plank.


The decoration carved in relief of the Urnes style serpent have originally been painted in yellow (orpiment), red (red lead with white lead) and black (charcoal). But the serpent was later painted over in red (Cinnabar) covering up the yellow colour of its body.


During a major restoration in 1887 of the current Romanesque church in Hørning the plank was discovered in the eastern wall of the choir.


The oak plank is 91 cm long, 57 cm high and 12 cm thick. But it is just the remaining end piece broken off of the hammer brace which sat along the top of the wall of the previous stave church built on the site. Originally it may have been up to six meters long as this was the length of the nave of the stave church. The entire length of the church including the choir was nine meter.


The stave church was built c. 1060-1070 as the plank has been dendrochronologically dated to this time. The original stave church burned down to the ground shortly before the current granite church was built on the same site sometime during the first part of the 12th century.



Hørning, Jutland, Denmark.
Nationalmuseet (The National Museum of Denmark)

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