During the first years of the 19th century there was a severe shortage of firewood in Copenhagen and other danish towns and due to the war against England it was not possible to get firewood from the Danish province Norway. There was a big forest in Gibskov on northern Själland that belonged to the king. But it was hard, not to say impossible to transport the firewood at roads those days.
In 1802 colonel Adolph von der Recke got 400 men to dig a canal from Esrum lake to Dronningmølle by Kattegatt. It took them 3 years to complete the canal, 9 kilometers long, 9 meters wide and 1,5 meters deep. The canal was devided after 4,5 kilometers. The part from Esrum lake was dug on a higher level than the part connected to Kattegatt.
From Esrum lake the firewood was transported on 20 meters long brages drawn by horses. Here the firewood was unloadedand transported to the 4 meter lower canal to the sea. Here the barges were smaller and drawn by men.
In Dronningmölle the firewood was loaded on seagoing ships for the last transport to Copenhagen and other cities.
At the transhipmentstation there was a waterfall which was used by the armed forces in a gunpowder factory and a grindery for sables and bayonets. There are still some rests of walls and a grindstone left at the place.
During the 19th century the Esrum Canal was a popular place for romantic boattrips in the beautiful area.
But the canal was closed in 1873 and has since then no water. Parts are choked-up. But htere are clear traces of the canal and as late as 1997 the Frederiksborg county council wrote that it would be technically possible to fill the canal with water again. It has not been done so far and there are no decisions taken.
The area is part of a national park.
Sources: Grundejerforeningerne i Munkerup og Hulerøds hemsida, Skog- og Naturstyrelsens hemsida, samt dk4s hemsida.
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This page was modified at 12-08-05