hrafnseyri

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Hrafnseyri

Hrafnseyri is a church and parsonage with a long history. In 1977-8 an archeological dig uncovered the farm site of Án rauðfeldur, the first settler there. His wife was Grélöð Bjartmarsdóttir, and the ruins that were uncovered have been named for her, Grélutóttir.

The farm was named for Hrafn Sveinbjarnason, an influential man in the 12th-13th century, probably the first trained doctor in Iceland. It is the birthplace of Jón Sigurðsson (1811-1879) who contributed more than anyone towards Iceland's regaining independence.

He was often called Jón forseti (president) because he was presient of the Icelandi Literarey Scoiety and Long the leader of the house of parliament. His birthday, the 17th of June, was chosen to be the Icelandic national holiday when the Republic was established in 1944.

A chapel was consecrated and a museum about Jón opened in 1981. Jón Sigurðsson's grandfather built a new farmhouse at Hrafnseyri towards the end of the 18th century, almost certainly according to plans drawn up by the Rev. Guðlaugur Sveinsson, dean of Vatnsfjörður in Ísafjarðardjúp.

The farmhouse was one of the first of the gabled farmhouses in Iceland. Around the turn of the century the buildings, which were collapsing, were torn down, all but one was which is still standing.

The gabled farmhouse has now been re-built in accordance with careful on-site measurements and a model built to the specifications of people who had actually seen the old farmhouse.