Jæren

Jæren is a low-lying, flat coastal region in the southern part of Rogaland County. The landscape is characterized by heather-clad uplands, peat bogs and stony soil cleared for farming.

Until farming was mechanized, the spade was the local farmer’s most important and nearly only tool. The heavy work of digging and the many small plots of land made it difficult to utilize agricultural resources, despite the mild, moist climate and long growing season.

Farmers also kept sheep and goats. Important fisheries contributed to trade and contacts with countries around the North Sea, while the opening of the railroad in 1878 between Stavanger and Egersund eased local transportation.

  • The House from Jæren at Norsk Folkemuseum
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    The House from Jæren at Norsk Folkemuseum Haakon Michael Harris / Norsk Folkemuseum

Farmhouse from Lende in Time, 1845

The Lende farmhouse is typical of its time, being fairly small, sod-roofed and white-painted with one and one-half stories on a low stone foundation. The two side sheds were used for storing the peat burned as fuel.

The siding is the horizontal wooden panel often used in western Norway. Local carpenters found this type practical as it made replacing rotten lower siding boards easier.

The house has a symmetrical ground plan. The mid-section hall has no partition between it and the kitchen and pantry lying farther in. A bed chamber lies behind the main room.

As was the custom, only one oven was used to heat the house. This one was lit and fueled from the kitchen. A stair leads from the hall to the upper floor where both children and servants could sleep if necessary.