Barbara Elrington Douglas Arbuthnott (1822 – 1904) was a Scottish woman, born into a wealthy Scottish family, who lived in Sunndal from 1868. She came to Sunndal on her honeymoon with her third husband in 1866. They were divorced, after her 20-year-old son from her first marriage died, allegedly because she thought her husband had provoked an epileptic fit by quarrelling with her son, who then died at Fokstua coach inn on September 1868.  After her son’s death she bought the farm Løykja, which is now a local museum. She was a generous lady engaged in charitable work and local health services. She was a writer, founded the local library and was later known as an agricultural pioneer. She built Alfheim, the mountain lodge high up above the valley of Grødalen, in 1876.

Her English bank went bankrupt in 1886. She sold some of its properties, but bankruptcy and forced sales was inevitable. Her board and lodging were paid for by benevolent neighbours. From 1892 to her death she lived in poverty at Einabu near the village of Grøa.  She died in poverty, for years being cared for by benevolent neighbours.

She was named the uncrowned queen of Sunndalen.

The musical Lady Arbuthnott is performed every June (link). Learn more about Lady Arbothnutt (link).