Prior to Skaftáreldar in 1783 Orrustuhóll was surrounded by water and sand, due to the unrestrained flowing of Hverfisfljót. All the well established land that lies south of Brunahraun, the eastern part of the Skaftáreldar lava field, used to be nothing but black sands. This vegetation is therefore only just a little over 200 years old. Before Skaftáreldar there was a cave to the west of Orrustuhóll where people used to store driftwood among other things. The wood was gathered offshore and then hauled by horses to the cave until it was used, mostly as housebuilding material or firewood. The cave went under the lava along with the surrounding lands during Skaftáreldar.
This also caused springs and rivers to find and maintain regular routes, water also seeped through the lava and on to the sands, possibly being warm at first, this water quickly encouraged vegetation. Soon, people were able to start building homes on this fertile land. Seen from the road, Orrustuhóll doesn’t seem to be all that high but one doesn’t realise it’s full effect until one stands on it’s top where one has an excellent panoramic viewpoint in all directions. The Hill is easily accessible from the south and a pretty good footpath lies along it’s western side.
Brambleberries grow on Orrustuhóll, they’re edible and highly recommended. Orrustuhóll is an excellent spot to rest, feel the sun on one´s face and perhaps chew on a straw.
The Hill’s name is thought by some to be drawn from the murder of Hróar Tungugoði, son of Uni Danski and Þórunn the daughter of Leiðólfur Kappi, the sons of Móðólfur from Foss killed Hróar because of his relationship with their sister, Ástríður Mannvitsbrekka. Shortly after this there was supposedly a battle on the Hill avenging the murder of Hróar.
Orrustuhóll and the nearby cave were thought to be excellent hiding places for warriors awaiting people coming in from the shore and most likely the men who ambushed the brothers from Foss did just that, hid behind the Hill or in the cave. However, there are no real records in existence concerning this battle but it’s interesting to let one’s mind wander when standing on the Hill, visualising the brothers from Foss meeting the ambushers in battle.
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