is an abandoned farm in the Oraefi District, a former church site and a
parsonage. The widow of Asbjorn Heyangurs-Bjarnson, Thorgerdur, built
the first farmhouses there according to the Book of Settlements. She
lost her husband at sea. She appropriated her property by leading a
heifer between the rivers Kota and Skeidara on a spring day between
sunrise and sunset. Her brother-in-law, Helgi, built his farm nearby at
Raudilaekur, where the main church, which served until the eruption in
1362, was built later. After this devastating eruption the new church
was built at Sandfell.
The glacier bursts in the wake of the 1362 and 1727
eruptions rushed down the slopes on each side of farm
Sandfell, and in 1727 Mt Sandfellsfjall above the farm
erupted as well. Depressions and mounds in the
landscape left by gigantic, molted blocks of ice (hverir;
plural) can be spotted all around the farmstead on the
alluvial plains (some of them have been declared inviolate).
latter eruption started on August 7th 1727, services were being held in
the church at Sandfell. The glacier burst followed the next day and two
maids, a shepherd and a great number of sheep were killed at the summer
pastures just south of the farm.
Sandfellsfjall is steep and barren. On the moorland above it is the
so-called Church Bell Gorge, which was inhabited by ogres according to
the legend. In 1973, some students of the Aarhus Art Academy faculty of
architecture measured and blueprinted the houses and surroundings of
farm Sandfell. Shortly afterwards the houses were demolished and a
memorial was placed on the foundations of the ancient church.
(Saga trail South Iceland)