The Gulating assembly was in session from approximately 800 A.D until 1300 when the court function of the ting was relocated to Bergen, and continued as the Gulating High Court (Gulating Lagmannsrett). The court is in operation today, and has therefore an over 1000 year old history. Aside from being one of Norway’s first courts, it was also a legislative body where the laws were formulated and upheld through consensus.
The ting assembled once a year, but the laws where upheld in farmers assemblies (bondeting) throughout the year, rendering unique autonomy and self rule to the farmers.
Beside the legal aspect of the ting, it functioned as a political forum where issues where debated and politics was formalised.
Today, one of the remnants of the Gulating assembly is the Gulating Code of Law, the oldest Code of Law to still be preserved in the Nordic Countries. The Code is kept and preserved in the Royal Library of Copenhagen. The site where the ting assembled is believed to be the old Municipality centre of Eivindvik in Gulen where we find a medieval church, and two stone crosses on each side of a great field, believed to be the original thing site.
In 2005 a Millennium site was established in Gulatinget’s honour, to commemorate this great judicial and democratic legacy. This site is approx. 3 km west of the original site, and is believed to be the place where the ting was moved some time before 1300 A.D. as mentioned in Magnus Law mender’s “Landlaw” of 1274 A.D.
Photo: "Tingveggen" ("The Thing Wall") by Bård Breivik, At the Millennium site of Gulatinget - Flolid.