With artefacts dating from the Early Danish Stone Age to the present day, Bramstrup presents a compelling cross-section of Danish history. The pre-industrial periods represented by the most notable artefacts are the Danish Bronze Age, the late Middle Ages and the Baroque and Classical periods. In more recent history, the buildings from the Early Industrial Age contribute significantly to the visitor’s experience at Bramstrup today.
Bramstrup’s rich cultural heritage – including analysis of changing technologies and ways of thinking down through the ages – serves as a critical source of inspiration when developing new activities.
The Danish Stone Age is represented in finds of stone axes at several locations around the site. Dating from the Danish Bronze Age, cooking pits, sacrificial remains and burial mounds have been unearthed. Recent archaeological excavations have uncovered buildings near the farm buildings, where remains of a Viking Age village, probably established by residents leaving a nearby larger village, have also been found.
The village was abandoned in the Middle Ages, probably due to the Plague or in connection with the establishment of a late medieval castle complex attributed to Mikkel Brockenhuus, who became the owner of Bramstrup in 1505.
A new Baroque-style manor house was erected in 1689, partly on the foundations of the original castle. In 1830–1850, Bramstrup’s development was influenced by the Classical movement. Hans Christian Andersen visited the manor, and a Romantic-style canal garden was installed. In the early 1870s, the Danish composer Carl Nielsen tended geese at Bramstrup as a young boy, describing this period of his life – and not least the deep impression the area’s natural beauty left on him – in his autobiography, "My Funen Childhood".
When industrialism was first extended to agriculture in Denmark, a ground-breaking new farm complex was built at Bramstrup. The complex was erected away from the old castle mounds in 1936, and fruit trees were planted and crop planting experiments carried out. In 1995, the innovative use of agricultural GPS technology was introduced, and Bramstrup Knowledge Centre was established.
After the old main barn was destroyed in a winter storm, a new barn was built and inaugurated in 2002 – not for use as grain storage, but as a place for sharing knowledge about the latest advancements in agricultural science. Yet the new building’s outstanding acoustics and visual strengths led just one year later to the establishment of Bramstrup Performing Arts, in collaboration with Copenhagen Business School’s Center for Art and Leadership.
In 2012, a combined raw materials and landscape improvement project was approved. Deeply rooted in Bramstrup’s history and informed by experience gained from Bramstrup Knowledge Centre and Bramstrup Performing Arts activities, this project aims to safeguard existing and generate new cultural heritage at Bramstrup for centuries to come.