An Island West of Jutland
Vedersø Klit actually once lay atop an island west of Jutland. If you look at the oldest maps with a reasonably reliable representation of the area, we go back to around 1550 where the Dutchman Cornelis Anthoniszoon published a map including Jutland. Here, there are a number of islands along the west coast on the map, including the islands Føhr, Amrum, Sild, Rømø, Manø and Fanø we know from South Jutland today. But then there are two more islands– Uthoe and Numit. Uthoe presumably later became a part of Blåvands Huk, while the island of Numit – or Numet, as it’s called in later maps – has become a part of the coastline – and on the island Numet emerged Vedersø Klit. The other map from 1680 is by Ionannes Lanssonius. Common to both maps is that they are intended for seafaring, so they include the features of the coast that could be useful to foreign traders and cities and entryways.
North of “Numet Country” lies an entryway at Torsmyd (Thorsminde), and within lies Vosborg and Nissum. Further down comes Husby, Timgaard and Ringkøbing. Here, it still appears as though it’s clear sailing in at Thorsminde and in to Ringkøbing. This has also been possible once, but already around 1560 the movement of sand closed this sailing route. A canal was dug – “Staby Kast” – but it could only transport smaller, flat-bottomed boats.
In 1650, Johannes Mejer drew a map of Denmark. Here, the island of Numet is clearly landfast at Husby. Part of the difference between the two maps is likely because the Dutchman needed the map to sail to and from Denmark, while Johannes Mejer’s map is also a map for Frederik III displaying his kingdom. In any case, there is greater local knowledge within the countryside. If we go further to the south on Mejer’s map, we can see that at several points Holmsland Klit is penetrated by the sea, and that it does not yet reach the south-end of Ringkøbing Fjord.
Along large parts of Numet there is water within, but according to the sources there is so often low water that one can walk or transport across, for example from Søndervig to Holmsland – the lowest large island before Numet, and further in between Holmsland and Ringkøbing it’s possible to go over Vonå. The large wetlands were often temporarily flooded, and the only stable connection is out by Vedersø Klit, located in the corner of the fjord, where Numet is landfast.
Over the centuries, sediments have been deposited in the fjords within Numet, and the North Sea has deposited sand on the outside, so the opening south of Numet has moved further down the south-end of Ringkøbing Fjord and eventually it closed at Nymindegab. At times, the opening at Torsminde also closes, thus, forming the coastline that we know today.