Cultural History Encyclopedia

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More information about this article

Published 07. July 1999

Last update 07. July 2021




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The prison at Bryggja

Encircled by stately old trees is the old Bailiff's farmyard at Bryggja. One of the houses is called "Arresten" (the prison).

The house called "Arresten" in the Bailiff's farmyard at Bryggja. The small-paned windows have iron bars inside.

The house called "Arresten" in the Bailiff's farmyard at Bryggja. The small-paned windows have iron bars inside.

Owner: Rigmor Navekvien.

Date: 2000.

Photographer: Rigmor Navekvien.

The house

The house "Arresten" is built in the same style as the main building, and is also painted in the same yellow colour. The small-paned windows twinkle. The only architectural clue that this house has been used as a prison is the solid iron bars in the windows, but you have to walk up very close to see this.

One of many

The buildings in the Bailiff's farmyard at Bryggja were built in the same period between 1860 and 1870, before there was a bailiff on the farm. The bailiff Arnoldus Lem got the deed to the property, holding # 10 at Maurstad in 1876. The bailiff used the house now known as "Arresten" as an office and a prison.

Elderly people remember

Bryggja belonged to the Davik municipality until 1964 when it was incorporated into the Vågsøy municipality. A bailiff family resided at the Bailiff's farmyard between 1876 and 1916. Elderly people clearly remember the class distinction between ordinary village people and the people at the Bailiff's farm. These had both servants and even a governess. People also remember that there were prisoners there, in some cases prisoners who were on their way to the main prison at Vik in Sogn. Bailiff Lem died in 1925, and new owners moved in. However, the "Arresten" still remains, like a breath from bygone days.

Bailiff A. Lem

Bailiff Arnoldus Lem was born on 8 February 1847 at Førde. His parents were bailiff Arnoldus Hess Lem and Andrea Olava Lem. In the years between 1865 and 1869, he worked as a clerk for the tax collector of Sogn, and in the period between 1869 and 1872 a clerk for the district recorder of Inner Sogn, and from 1873 to 1875, as a clerk for the county governor of Sogn og Fjordane.
He was married to Anna Elisabeth Paasche and lived on his farm at Maurstad until he died on 3 March 1925. He was bailiff in Davik from 1876 to 1916. When he retired, the board of aldermen came to his home and presented him with a gold watch and chain as a token of their appreciation for his long and faithful service to the community.

See geometric position on detailed map at Fylkesatlas or on a 3D-map at Google Maps by clicking on the 3D-button down to the right at the Google-map.


Davik Herad 1837-1937.1936.
Munnleg informasjon frå:
Harald Maurstad, Vågsøy.