Skarð in Skarðströnd, Iceland, is both a farm and land that has been inhabited since roughly 1100. Now, Skarð is one of the most fruitful and valuable pieces of land in the country, especially as it is where the eider duck call home.
Throughout the centuries, the inhabitants of Skarð have been amongst the richest in Iceland and had plentiful resources from the land itself. The area’s first settler, Geirmundur Heljarskinn, was amongst the first settlers in Iceland. The land’s eider down manufacturer, Mr. Hilmar Kristinsson, is a direct descendant of Geirmundur Heljarskinn and a 28thgeneration Skarð inhabitant. There is no other farm in Iceland with such a long consecutive history of family inhabitants.
Another descendant of Geirmundur Heljarskinn, Snorri Narfason, called Skarðs-Snorri, was considered one of the wealthiest men in Iceland, circa 1150.
The most famous person to have lived in Skarð, Skarðsströnd, was Ólöf the Wealthy and her husband Björn of Iceland (1408-1467). They were the wealthiest people in Iceland at that time (1400s). Björn of Iceland was appointed a Knight by the King of Denmark (during the times of Danish rule) and given the highest position to rule Iceland on behalf of the King of Denmark.
A famous recorded and documented exchange of the Skarð Eiderdown took place in 1455, when Ólöf the Rich and her husband Björn of Iceland sailed to Denmark and presented the King of Denmark, Christian I, with Skarð Eiderdown duvets.
The tradition of handpicking and cleaning the Eiderdown has been passed down from generation to generation for over 500 years. Today, Hilmar Kristinsson continues the heritage in perfecting this eco-friendly and eco-sustainable production process.