The abandoned farm Skeljavik on a synonymous cove is situated a short distance to the south of the fishing village Holmavik. Only two other farms in the country carry names derived from sea shells like this one, which first written source, the cartulary of the Skeljavik church in 1397 and later in 1709, when the land was the property of the church. In 1805 the cartulary shows, that the farm had become private property. About the middle of the 19th century Skeljavik, or rather a smaller cove, Skipavik and a spit of land called Skipatangi, became the main trading post for the Bardastrond area and the Strandir district, where traders ex ship went about their business every summer. The king issued authorization for the trading post in 1863 and trading continued until 1894.
The relatively good, natural harbor conditions of Skeljavik attracted vessels much earlier than the trading commenced according to the Gisla Saga and the Gunnlaugs Saga Worms tongue. They tell us about arrivals and departures of Norwegian bound vessels during the Saga Period. The area of the Skeljavik land was rather limited, but adequate and the grazing never failed. The farm was abandoned in 1935 and the Holmavik County bought it. The houses stood until after the Second World War and were used by the British army to house 2-3 Scottish soldiers.
During the last few dedicated of the 20th century the county exploited the property for different purposes, such as a small hydroelectric power station (Thverarvirkjun), the Strandir District Society’s summerhouse and the cabins of the Holmavik Guesthouse. The fur farm (foxes) Vikurbuid was operated there in the eighties and after its operations were discontinued, the houses have been used for horses and sheep. The horse stables of the Holmavik county people are on the other side of River Hvita. The monument dedicated to Mr Hermann Jonasson, an esteemed member of parliament for the Strandir District and prime minister, was unveiled in 1979. The county’s golf course and sports grounds are there as well.
Photo Credit: Map Carta