On Odensevej outside Harridslevgård you can see a mound in the middle of the field. Is it the final resting place of the Viking hero Palnatoke - or just a large burial mound?
In the field next to Odensevej, just 400 metres from Harridslevgård Castle, lies a large round mound from ancient times.
The mound is called both Loddenhøj (furry mound) and Palnatoki's mound. The furry part comes from the fact that the mound is unusually lushly overgrown.
The Funen Viking hero Palnatoki also gave his name to the mound. According to legend, he lived at the viking castle Harridslevgård, which was located here before the Renaissance castle was built. Here he raised his foster son Sweyn, the illegitimate son of Harald Bluetooth. When Sweyn came of age, he challenged his father for recognition and inheritance rights, but was denied. Palnatoki fought alongside his foster son, and Sweyn defeated his father and became king under the name Sweyn Forkbeard. Palnatoki travelled further out into the world and founded Jomsborg.
But according to Funen history, his remains were buried in the old round mound. It is also said that there was once an underground passage between the castle and the mound, making it easier to escape if you were surrounded by enemies.
The round mound from ancient times
There's no telling if the old stories are true. But we do know that the mound is a fairly large burial mound, about 25 metres wide and 4 metres high.
The mound was opened in 1840, where a stone chamber with an urn with ashes and bones and a stone hammer were found.
Burnt graves were a known burial form in ancient times, but became especially common from the Late Bronze Age (c. 1100-ca. 500 BC) onwards. So this may be when the stone chamber was built.
Today, there is a hole from the top down into the mound, but it probably didn't go all the way through to the grave.
There is life in the mound today, as there are many trees and plants growing and several fox burials have been found in the mound.
It is possible to see the mound from Odensevej as you drive past. There is no access to the mound.