Thingvellir abandoned farms

Region: South Iceland
Coordinates: 64.2559° N 21.1104° W

Abandoned farms in Thingvellir

Arnarfell was an annex to the Thingvellir farm with the rights of land north of a low mountain by the same name to the southeast of the lake. Still nowadays, the ruins of a long stonewall marking its boundaries can be traced. Nearby other ruins suggest the existence of a mountain dairy in the summer pastures of the farm Thingvellir. The annex was not constantly occupied. The last occupant, a doctor of medicine, who operperated the farm for a few years before it was permanently abandoned, imported a few reindeer from the eastern part of the country to breed. They did not survive long.

Bodvarsholl is a mound to the east of the Gjabakki route across the lava field from Vellankatla (Cove Vatnsvik), where a farm by the same name is said to have stood. At the foot of the mound, ruins of a sheep shed are still obvious. Straight above the ruins the western Thingvellir cave is to be found. This cave was used to accommodate sheep in the past.

Grimsstadir. The ruins of this farm are situated to the south of the abandoned farm Svartagil, half way between it and the still occupied farm Brusastadir. It is said to have been the abode of Grimur the small, who brought up Hordur Grimkelsson, the hero of the Hardar Saga.

Hrafnabjorg was situated to the north of the table mountain by the same name, and referred to as a church site, which sounds highly unlikely because of the lack of fresh water sources in the area.

Hrauntun was situated to the south of the lava ridge Sledaas. A farm was built there in 1830 on the ruins of an older one, which was abandoned in the beginning of the 15th century during the bubonic plague. Three generations occupied the farm until it was permanently abandoned in 1934. Another cluster of the ruins of farm Litla-Hrauntun are situated a bit further to the west.

Skogarkot. The obvious ruins of this farm, both at the foot of and on the top of the mound Sjonarholl are on the most frequented routes across and in the middle of the rift valley of the Thingvellir area. It was occupied until 1936.

Vatnskot was situated by the lake near Vellankatla. The occupants based their livelihood mainly on the char and trout fishing. The people who took over the operation of the farm in 1912 were the last to leave the area in 1966.

Olkofradalur is a deep depression in the lava field by the mound Olkofraholl to the southeast of the farmstead Skogarkot. Usually the groundwater level of the area maintained a pond in the depression, which supplied the small farm there with fresh water.

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