© Per M Rø

The Elnanslottet hillfort

The best preserved hillfort in Steinkjer municipality.

The Elnanslottet hillfort is arguably Trøndelag's best-preserved hillfort and is situated at the bottom of the Elnandalen valley near the Beistadfjorden in South Beitstad in Steinkjer municipality. The mountain plunges vertically down to three sides, so that it is only possible to reach the top from one side, from the northeast.

Hiking trail
There is a signposted hiking trail from South Beitstadvegen (about 3.5 km) and at the top of Elnanslottet you are rewarded with great views south, down the valley and beyond the Beitstadfjord.
On the way up you pass the rock carving field Elnan 1. The carvings (a picture of a boat, amongst other things) are believed to date from the Iron Age.  The more famous Bardals field is located in the valley beyond, where you will find rock carvings from the younger Stone Age up to the younger Bronze Age.
Part of the trail up is said to be part of the hillfort. Large stones were laid to level the road in some places just below the mountain. 70 meters further in, you meet the inner wall. The looming wall goes in an arc all across the hill. There are information boards located at the destination.

Two walls
The hillfort has two walls. The stone walls probably served as support for palisades of upright posts.
The outer wall to the north is approx. 45 meters long and crosses the mountain. The wall has a small crack at the west end, and here it may have been an entrance. The inner wall is about 70 meters inside, and slightly higher than the outer wall, forming an arch. It is around 40 meters long and at its largest, it is 3 meters wide and 0.5 meters high and it is worth doing the hike for this part alone.

The hillfort is located on a rocky ridge that rises in the middle of the valley, at the northern end of Elnan valley. Those coming from the north down the valley had to pass by here. From the top of Elnanslottet hillfort there are great views south, down the valley and beyond the Beitstadfjord.

Elnanslottet is situated between two high mountains: Våttåhaugen and Storvarden, so it is tempting to believe that the castle has been linked to a warning system.

The inner hillfort area is so small that there has hardly been room for all the people in the village here. It is probable that Elnanslottet has been a guard -and control post and a border marker to the north.

From the Steinkjerleksikonet and the Facebook page Gamle Bygdeborge in Norway.