This small mortuary is situated on the outskirts of the cemetery which is more than 2 km away from the church, the vicarage and the village Været, the former administrative centre of Karlsøy District Council. Set on uncultivated land the cemetery is partly fenced in by dry stone walls.

The age of the mortuary at Karlsøy is not known, but such small buildings were not unusual near churches in northern Norway. It was mainly used during the winter when the ground was too hard to be dug. However, it was not only a practical response to the cold climate, for many the distance to the nearest church was very long and often the menfolk would be away for long periods on hunting or fishing expeditions.

The mortuary is first mentioned in written sources in the year 1800 when it was situated next to the old church in Været. According to tradition the building was in 1845 moved to a new cemetery at the top of the valley that crosses the island. And, it was moved yet again when the cemetery was relocated to its current position in 1879.


Likhus og gravplasser på Karlsøya