Logtun church

We know there was a church at Logtun as early as in the days of bishop Eystein Erlendsson (archbishop 1157-1180). But the sources do not tell us anything about how this church came to existence. The name itself, Logtun (the old form was “Lagatun”), ties the church to the Frostating , the local parliament for this region in Norway in the Middle Age and to the location of the old court itself. The name itself Logtun means the law (lov-) and the farmyard (-tun).

The actual age of the present church is a matter of controversy. It is assumed that the church was built around 1480, and during recent times rebuilt, especially the chancel.

The building method was the usual one: double stonewalls with mortar and sand in between. The corners have been made of marble quadrates and it is also assumed that the window openings originally have had settings either of marble or soapstone. The main entrance toward west is the finest and largest of the four entrances.

While the window openings are made in roman style of architecture, the main entrance is a typically gothic portal. Perhaps it has been brought to the church from another church or monastery? We know for certain that some of the stones in Logtun is reused from the medieval cathedral in Trondheim – Nidarosdomen.

Earlier the church also had several extensions: the sacristy, the windbreak and the weaponry. All of these extensions were made of wood, and there were presumably built after the reformation in 1537. The tower was also made of wood.

No one know for sure what the church originally looked like inside, but it contained probably a crucifix and perhaps several pictures of saints. After the reformation everything “catholic” was removed.

At the end of the 1640´s the interior went through an extensive renovation and alteration. The windows were enlarged in order to provide more light. The walls were plastered, a new floor was made and new benches were installed. Two of the most skilled artists in Trøndelag were entrusted with the construction of the alter piece and the pulpit. Johan Bilthugger did the cabinetmaking and wood carving, while Johan Hansen Kontrafeier was responsible for the painting. The alter piece is painted in 1655.

The church changed owners quite often. It was on private hands until 1725, and it was sold to Frosta municipality in 1857.

The church gradually became too small, with its approximately 300 seats. It took only 1/10 of the village population. In the 1860´s a new church was built near centre og Frosta. The new church, Frosta Church, was inaugurated in 1866. In 1867 the Ministry approved the closing down of Logtun church and the two cemeteries belonging to it. In 1868 the municipal board passed the unanimous resolution to tear down the tower and the rest of the woodwork.

Around 1900 the village people began to talk about something had to be done to protect the walls from total disintegration. The municipal board then agreed to present the walls to the Association for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments, and this organization is still the owners of the church building itself.

For approximately 80 years, the old walls were in “historical ruins”. The thought of restoring the church building took shape early in the 1920´s. In 1929 a committee was appointed to work on the restoration of the church building. In 1930´s a church service was held within the old walls, in connection with King Haakon´s unveiling of the twelve county stones at Tinghaugen. In 1932 the roof was built, the floor came in 1935, and the following year benches were installed. In 1943 the alter piece and the pulpit came back to Logtun church. They had been kept at the Museum of the scientific Society in Trondheim after the church had been closed down. These are still the property of the museum. In 1947 the altar was rebuilt, and the altar rail was set up. In 1949 the attic was built, and in 1950 the church was completely restored, as consequence of innumerable working hours on a volunteer basis, and larger and smaller gifts of money.

The pulpit has four sections with sculptures of the four evangelists with their respective symbols. The pulpit and the hexagonal canopy are decorated with angels and head of angels. The inscription on the pulpit says, “Blessed are those who listen to the world of God and keep it.”

In the bottom of the baptismal font there is a picture portraying the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, and an almost obliterated inscription of late Gothic letters. Also, the initials B.B.M and M.M.B. as well as the year 1939 are engraved. This may signify Bernhard Brunsmann and his wife Margaretha Monsdatter.

Today the church is used for baptismal, wedding ceremonies and some church services especially during the summer. Logtun church is nowadays often used for concerts.

#logtunkirke

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