Gavnø Castle (or Gavnø on the island of the same name) is located in Karrebæk Fjord southwest of Næstved. The farm is first mentioned in Valdemar II’s privilege for Sankt Peders Kloster in Næstved of 1205. It is located on Gavnø in Vejlø Parish in Næstved Municipality. The main building was built in 1402-1408, expanded in 1584-1663-1682 and converted into the present rococo castle in 1755-1758. The park is on 8 hectares.
Gavnø Estate is 2,300 hectares with Vejløgård, Tinghøjgård and Sofusminde.
Gavnø Castle has its own castle brewery, which is Denmark’s only and is housed in one of the barony’s buildings.
Gavnø is a small island off the west coast of Zealand in Næstved Municipality, Denmark. Located some 6 km south-west of Næstved, it has an area of 5.6 km2, and, as of 1 January 2010, it has a population of 57.
Gavnø is now associated mainly with Gavnø Castle, an impressive Rococo manor house with an attractive park. The park surrounding the estate is known for its rare trees, rose garden and, above all, its extensive display of bulbs.
The first historical mention of Gavnø is in King Valdemar‘s census book from 1231. The main building was built in 1402-1408, expanded in 1584-1663-1682 and remodeled to the current Rococo manor in 1755-1758. The manor house was apparently built to defend Denmark’s western coasts. In the 15th century, Queen Margaret I opened St Agnes’ Priory there, catering for nuns from aristocratic families. The chapel can still be seen in the castle’s southern wing although it has since been extended.
In 1737, Count Otto Thott (1703–1785) acquired Gavnø. He renovated and substantially extended the manor, creating today’s three-winged, yellow-façaded building in the Rococo style where he was able to house his large collections of paintings, manuscripts and books. At his death, his library collection contained over 120,000 volumes, exceeding that of the Danish National Library.