Text: © Lotte Fang-
A walking tour around some of Roskilde’s old grocer’s yards.
In the 1700s, there were six or seven large grocer’s yards in Roskilde, all located in the middle of the town. In the front of the building facing the street there would be a small shop (really a bazaar) and an inn. It was here that the grocer’s family lived. In the side and middle buildings there were stables, a brewery, a distillery, a stud farm, tanners, candlemakers, storage for the shop and, importantly, agricultural buildings for the land that belonged to the grocer’s and which was run as an ordinary farm.
In the 1800s these businesses became even larger and their functions expanded to include more carpenters, candlemakers and tanners. At the same time, the bazaar developed into individual grocer’s shops – the department stores of their day. Along with the expansion of the larger grocer’s yards, both medium-
As the grocer’s were somewhat interchangeable, their stories will be shared between the three grocer’s yards that make up the tour. The 1840s were the beginning of a golden era for the corn trade in Roskilde. The grocers not only sold their own corn, but also resold corn they traded from the farmers. Roskilde was the centre for almost the entire corn trade on Zealand. The majority was sent to Copenhagen, but corn was also exported to England.
Walk from the tourist information office over to Algade.
A little further on the left is the old grocer’s yard,
The grocers yard was called Djalmar Lunds Gård after its owner from 1908-
It was important for the grocer’s to attract as many farmers, who had come to sell products such as corn, butter and eggs, as possible. Although many of the farms were virtually self-
The grocer’s yard at Algade 9 is so well-
Ground plan of Jacob and Sophie Brønniches’ grocer’s yard in 1858.The bold line marks the boundary with the neighbour’s land. The ground plan has been reconstructed by Ingeborg Christmas-
1. In the front building facing Algade there were
five living rooms, the shop and an attached shop room.
There were two attic rooms on the upper floor.
In the basement there was a store room for wine,
among other goods.
2. A half-
and a granary on
the first floor. Under the buildings were two rooms used
for storing milk.
3. A half-
room, both with stoves. Larder, a room for storing beer
and a laundry room.
4. Woodshed, stables, two coach houses and a warehouse.
On the first floor is a granary.
The building was torn down around 1960.
5. Stables, stablehands’ quarters, warehouse.
On the first floor is a feed loft.
6. Stalls for both cows and oxen. Straw and hay were kept
on the first floor.
7. Pig sty. In the back yard was a well and a large dunghill.
8. Latrines. It is unclear whether they were intended for both
the household and the servants. The latter often used the stables.
10. The building, which dated from before 1791,
had a brick-
the yard side. Here, there were stables and stablehands’
quarters. On the first floor was a feed loft.
11. A distillery and brewery, plus a small chamber, a hallway
and stables for the horses.
On the first floor were two rooms and a hallway, with the rest used
as a granary.
In the yard directly outside the building was a brick-
Between 50 and 100 hectares of agricultural land could be attached to the grocer’s yards, with corn being the primary crop. In addition to selling the corn, it was also the basis for one of the biggest sources of income: distilling. In a time when the drinking of spirits was an integral part of daily life, the volume distilled was considerable. In Holbæk, which had fewer residents than Roskilde, 597,127 ‘pots’ (1 pot = roughly 1 litre) were distilled in 1839 alone. The waste from the distillery, the spent grain, was given to the oxen, which the yard had stabled. This made them fat, better tasting and with good, tender meat. The manure from the oxen and the other animals was used to fertilise the surrounding fields.
Walk further down Algade to Algade 15.
After the fire in Algade in 1731, a list was made of the burned property and what should be built in its place. In a time without fire insurance, not everyone could afford to rebuild the new building on the same scale. The owner of Algade 15 had the means, however, and a cellar from the Middle Ages has therefore been preserved. This was used as a wine cellar for many years, after which beer was tapped into bottles on the premises. The cellar is now part of the Bryggergården restaurant.
Go through the narrow passage to the right and into the courtyard.
The front of the house was rebuilt after the fire in 1731 with bricks in between the timbers instead of the clay that had been there previously.
At the end of the 1800s, the grocer’s yard was bought by a candlemaker, who continued with his original trade on top of running the grocery business. When his son was later brought into the venture, he started purchasing hides for tanning. These were primarily of calfskin, which were used for knapsacks, the schoolbag of choice for boys. The heads, legs and tails were cut off, taken through the gate to the right and into the other yard to the pig sty. It was all cooked into a distinctive smelling meat soup, which the pigs dug into eagerly. The dug-
In 1904, a large part of the grocer’s yard burned down. The front building facing Algade, however, managed to avoid the fire. At this time there were still processed hides in the grocer’s yard, but Algade 15 was primarily a brewery and this is how it was rebuilt in 1905. The grocer’s buildings used for the brewing of beer are still standing, although the buildings that had once been used for tanning are gone and a car park stands in their place. Dansk Tarifforening’s plan shows Algade 15 after the rebuilding. The property had an area of 5587m2.
2. Coaches, workshop, food, malt
3. Rented out to a fishing association,
Baker’s, Goldsmith’s, Clothes shop
4. Entrance to the yard
6. Beer cellar, house
7. Beer cellar, skyldehus, keg washing room,
parlour, Cold storage room
9. Malt kitchen, machinery
10. Malt house, barley store
11. Keg (øltræ) beer barrels
13. Boiler room, Coal bunker, Servants’ hall
15. Office, Beer cellar
16. Bottle washing, pasteurisation
17. Hay barn
18. Feed, stables
20. Stables, ‘Open’ stables, Granary
21. Coal bunker, Coaches, Packaging
23. Hide salting
27. Stablehands’ quarters
Between nos. 19 and 20 there was a large dunghill, while out towards Skt. Olsstræde in the garden was a henhouse.
Go through the entrance to right and straight out onto Skt. Peder Stræde and then right onto Algade. Continue to the right along Algade towards Stændertorvet as far as the fountain. A little to the left is the entrance to the grocer’s yard,
In 1749, Peder Kornerup graduated as a grocer and the following year he established this grocer’s yard, which became the family seat of the Kornerup family.
The property, which covered an area of about one hectare, stretched from Stændertorvet to Bredgade. It is so well-
Ground plan of Stændertorvet 2 around 1840, reconstructed by Ingeborg Christmas-
1. One building on two floors made up of five panels.
It was joined together with the front building and
comprised two large rooms.
five storerooms and stables.
with a coach house, stables and staircase. Entrance.
4. Latrine made of two panels.
and a 3-
The number of staff who worked in the grocer’s yards could be considerable. These were important workplaces in a town that, in 1750, had 1550 residents, of which many survived on the aid they received from charitable institutions and food donations. The town’s prosperity arrived with the railway to Copenhagen in 1847. From the grocer’s yard at Algade 12 it is known that, in the 1850s, the staff consisted of four-
The daily chores required strong bodies, but “food is a man’s [and woman’s] strength”. The lodgings were not 5-
Early morning ‘Øllebrød’ porridge or milk pudding and a boiled, salted herring. Open sandwiches with toppings on Sundays.
Late morning A very thick, whole slice of rye bread with lard or butter and schnapps.
Lunch Milk pudding or soup with cabbage or peas, followed by pork, dried cod or meat. On Sunday there would be dough balls of barley in the soup.
Afternoon A piece of rye bread with butter and cold cuts, but only in the summer, when the work days were longer.
Evening meal Heated-
As everything was preserved through either smoking or with salt, the diet of the time was extremely salty. A jug of beer was therefore placed in the servants’ hall, from which everyone could drink their fill.
Go through the entrance to the second yard and out onto Borchsgade. Turn to the right and walk down Schmeltz Plads out onto Ringstedgade. A little to the left is Lützhøfts Købmandsgård, which is a part of Roskilde Museum. It is open to visit and includes a well-