The Old Village
The first written sources to mention Kirke Hvalsø stem from 1253, where the village is referred to as Hwelpsøy. The houses were clustered around the intersection of roads from Roskilde, Holbæk and Ringsted, the church situated on a hill slightly north of the village.
The farms were owned by the church in the diocese of Roskilde until the Reformation in 1536 and then by the Crown, until they were sold off to the owner of the manor of Sonnerupgård.
Since the Middle Ages, the cultivation of the fields had been based on a three-field system where each farm was assigned many small plots of land to farm within the much larger area land owned by the squire. Following the Agricultural Reforms in the late 1700s, the peasants were given the opportunity to buy the farms, and the compounds were enclosed, enabling the farmers to obtain the land adjacent to their farms.
At this point in time, there were 12 farms in Hvalsø. Six of these were based outside the village, where 25 smallholders were allotted land at the parcellization of the land. The primary occupation in the village was agriculture, but forestry and peat harvesting supplied the income of the smallholders.
The village population was small with 508 persons registered in the parish of Hvalsø in 1801. As a consequence of the successful Agricultural Reforms, the population grew and in 1860 the number of parishioners had risen to 791.
The market town of Kirke Hvalsø.
The growing agricultural production and the inauguration of the railway line to Kalundborg in 1874 turned Kirke Hvalsø into a market town with a station, a hotel, a cooperative dairy and a chemistry as well as local shops, including two grocery shops.