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Kirkjubaer Church Farm

About Kirkjubaer

The estate Eastern and Western Kirkjubaer (Church Farm) is located in the centre of County Rangarvellir. Its eastern limits are the stream Kirkjubaejarsiki, which later becomes Strandarsiki. This estate has long been renowned for horse breeding. During the Saga Period it was one of the important stages of events of the Saga of Njall the Wise. Gunnar Hamundarson of farm Hlidarendi had approached Otkell, the farmer of Kirkjubaer, to sell him some food and hay supplies, but was denied in the most demeaning manner.

Gunnar’s wife, Hallgerdur, sent her slave, Melkolfur, to plunder Otkell’s larder without the knowledge of her husband. The slave burned the larder down afterwards to cover his tracks, but his knife was discovered at the site of the crime.

Upon discovering his wife’s involvement, Gunnar slapped her, thus sealing his fate. The aftermath of this crime was ugly and extended before a settlement was reached. According to old sources, the name of the estate is older than Christianity in the country, but it was a church site for a while later on. During the excavation of a foundation for a new house in 1930, human remains were discovered, which were believed to belong to a larger, ancient grave site.

Kirkjubaer is on the Saga trail for South Iceland.