Glavendrup Stone Ship

The Glavendrup Stone Ship seen from the East

The Glavendrup Stone Ship setting with The Glavendrup Runic Stone is located a 15 minute drive Northwest of Odense Airport on Funen. The Glavendrup Stone Ship and rune stone are from the early 10th century, the middle of the viking age.

The Glavendrup Stone Ship seen from the West with The Glavendrup Runic Stone to the right

The Glavendrup Stone Ship is 60 meters or 67 yards long, and still has a runic stone at its Western end. The stone ship was first rediscovered in 1794 by people digging for sand. In 1808 an archeologist saves the runic stone from being bought by stone masons as had already happened with several of the other stones in the stone ship.

The East side of The Glavendrup Runic Stone

The text on the Glavendrup Runic Stone is the longest text on a runic stone in Denmark, 210 characters long. The hill below the runic stone is a later addition made during one of the recreations of the stone ship. The runic stone should be placed several meters or yeards further West and without a mound below it to accurately recreate the stone ship.

The West side of The Glavendrup Runic Stone

The text is: Ragnhild placed this stone in memory of Alle, priest of the Soelve, honorable clan chieftain. Alle's sons made these runes after their father and his wife after her husband. And Sote carved these runes in memory of his master. Thor hallow these runes. To a "something you do not want to become" become he who uses violence on this stone or drags it away to stand in memory of somebody else.

The North side of The Glavendrup Runic Stone

Alle's wife, Ragnhild, wasn't just married to Alle, Ragnhild also had another runic stone made for another husband named Gunulf, known as the Tryggevaelde Runic Stone, by the same rune carver, Sote. The Tryggevaelde Runic Stone was originally placed near the East coast of Zealand but has been moved to the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen.

The wood containing The Glavendrup Stone Ship and The Glavendrup Runic Stone, seen from the South

During excavations in the stone ship 9 fire pit graves were found in the Eastern end, all empty. A grave that would hold a man of the importance of a chieftain and prist like Alle hasn't been found. It is possible that the stone ship was created to commemorate Alle, not to bury him. Stone ships were sometimes used to publically demonstrate allegience to the viking religion in a time when Christianity was gaining more and more ground in Viking society. Today the Glavendrup Stone Ship is in a wood planted to protect it, but at the time of erection it was probably visible from far away.


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