From shelter for churchgoers to home of a fiddler – and back again

Kyrkjestugu by Torpo stave church probably dates from about 1800, and it was used as a meeting place and shelter for churchgoers who had to travel far to get to church. When a new church was built in the village, the building became superfluous and was sold to a young smallholder and fiddler known as ‘Dekkjin’. It became his home for more than 70 years before Kyrkjestugu ‘came home’ in 1982 thanks to the efforts of local enthusiasts.
60,6642184 8,7074595
Torpovegen 519, Torpo, 3579

Torpo, Buskerud (Viken)

Owned by the National Trust of Norway since 1974.

From family home to shelter for churchgoers. The little house was moved to the smallholding Dekko, where it was re-erected as a farm house and furnished in the three-room layout traditional to the Hallingdal region, while it only had one room while it was used as a shelter for churchgoers. New six-pane windows were put in, but one of the building's original windows was kept. ‘Dekkjin’ stayed in this house for nearly 70 years, and at times the tiny cottage housed as many as 13 people. It was in a poor condition when it came to the Trust's attention in 1970. After a lot of effort and voluntary work, Kyrkjestugu was returned to a site by the churches at Torpo in 1982. The members of the Trust, volunteers and pupils from the vocational programmes at Ål upper secondary school all contributed a great deal after land owners provided a suitable plot by the church.

Things to do in the area. Kyrkjestugu is next door to Torpo stave church, which is also one of the National Trust of Norway's properties. Ål and Hallingdal offer a range of opportunities for both summer and winter outdoor pursuits, as well as art and culture experiences. 

Sources: En reise gjennom norsk byggekunst ed. Terje Forseth. The National Trust of Norway, 1994.