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The red line on this map show - th< <4ion..-! v;i\ w ilu
most remarkable things of Skanseu. >X"-iIk in tlu din c-
tion of the arrow. 'The arrows, w'nie'n aie put np at
the ero-^roads, make it easier to find the ri»ht wav.
GUIDE TO SKANSEN. I.
THE HISTORICAL AND ETNOGRAPHICAL
DEPARTMENT OF SKANSEN
A SHORT GUIDE FOR THE USE OF VISITORS
TRANSLATED FROM SWEDISH BY NILS KEYLAND
PUBLISHED BY THE NORTHERN MUSEUM, STOCKHOLM
IVAR H^GGSTROMS AKTIEBOLAG
THE HISTORICAL AND ETNOGRAPHICAL
DEPARTMENT OF SKANSEN
Such objects of culture in Skansen, as are marked by a
number within a ring, are to be found under
the corresponding number
in this guide.
7 ~ fb --f^
I am particularly obliged to Doctor William Evans
Hoyle, Director of the National Museum of Wales,
for kindly revising the last edition of this guide (excepting
The blacksmith's shop and The cow-house from Smaland),
and I take the opportunity of expressing to him my most
Skansen, August 1911.
Fabodvallen. "The Summer-seat or somerset".®—©
Erected in Skansen in 1891 as a copy of a somerset from the parish
of Morsil in Jamtland. The timber was given by G. Eriksson of Morsil
member of the Parliament.
The »somerset» or »somerseat», known in Swedish as the
fdbodvall, (fig. 1), is a sort of summer residence in the wood*
land, temporarily occupied for cattle^grazing. 1 Agriculture,
though practised on a small scale, was originally of only inferior
importance there; and the cultivated ground was not in the
first place used for production of fodder for the animals.
But the selfsown pasture*lands give a scanty produce in
this northern climate. The pasteurs consequently must be
the more extensive for the feeding of a growing stock of
cattle. If moreover, as is usually the case, the ground near
the farm is more and more required for the cultivation of
new fields, it is, in order to spare the produce of the con*
tigous land for wintering, necessary to find pastures or
»summer*gangs» still further from the farm, often miles away
in the forests. It then, of course, becomes impossible to
1 It was in former times with many nations and is still in some parts
of the world a custom to divide the year between the »winter*houses»
and the »summer=houses».
As to the ancient occurrence of the latter form of house in Great
Britain such names as Somerguage, Somerby, Somersal, Somerset,
Sommerley, and others afford plenty of evidence.
The name for a mountain dairy*farm of this temporary kind was »set»
and »seat» as may be deduced from a number of examples, as Somerset,
before mentioned, Moorseat, Outseats, Woodseats, Thornsett, Runsett,
Lord's Seat and others, all of which are proved to be of a pastoral origin.
- 7 - ®-©
carry the milk there everey day. That is the reason why
the peasants build a sheal or booth in the outlying district
for which the young maid, sdterjdntan, bujdntan, bustdrsan,
leaves in the early summer with the cows and goats.
There she stays till the autumn, when the men of the
hamlet arrive to bring home on pack-horses the cheese
and other milk products that she has prepared during the
It often happens that they break the land around the
»set», which gradually becomes a real farmstead or, since
the peasants of a hamlet usually have their abodes lying
close together, develops into a new hamlet. This in its turn
causes more somersets to be constructed further away
in the wilderness. The summer-houses have thus been
from times of yore the outposts of culture. Of such houses,
which are called in Swedish fdbodar and sdterbodar, we
may still trace reminiscences in names of places ending in
=bod, tboda 1 and =sdter, which are still to be met with in
provinces where the use of fdbodar has vanished long ago.
These summer*abodes have, in their method of construe*
tion, maintained exceptionally old forms, owing to the fact
that they are used only as temporary dwellings during the
summer. The desire for comfort which has gradually
asserted itself in rural communities has left the somersets
unaffected, and we therefore find in them architectural
features preserved which were characteristic of a farmyard
of the North long before the close of the heathen period.
The buildings lay irregularly dispersed within an enclosure,
each containing only a single room. The »somerset*maid»,(l)
fdbodjdntan, lives in the »fire*house» 2 , stdrriset (fig. 2),
1 We should notice the resemblance between The English word
»booth» and the Swedish bod. In the Welsh laws »booth» is also men*
tioned in the sense of »summer4iouse» = Swedish fdbod.
2 Compare the »fire4iouse». Pag. 12.
which corresponds to the winter^abode in the walley. She
has her bed on a shelf fastened to the inner gable and
cooks her food over the open hearth in the middle of the floor.
There is no chimney the smoke finding its way out through
a hole in the roof, Ijore, which at the same time serves for
a window. A »hood», huf, consisting of split logs which
incline towards the apex, is placed over the Ijore to prevent
the rain and snow from falling into the fire. That hood,
Fig. 2. Stdrriset The fire*house.
however, is usually wanting. There are fixed settles at the
sides of the room. The door is in one of the gable*ends
and is protected by a kind of porch formed by the pro*
jection of the roof and the side^walls. The walls are con*
structed of round timbers » crosscut » 1 at the corners. The
roof which rests on round ridges consists of split logs,
takved, laid alternately in two layers.
1 »Cross*cut», a word often occurring in this book, is used here as
a term to signify a special sort of simpler dovetailing. The figure on
p. 19 shows the arrangement. Translator's note.
- 9 - ®— ®
The storehouse, boden or bun, in plan and construction®
resembles the fire^house, save that there is no fireplace
nor smoke*hole in the former and that the roof is covered
with turf instead of split logs. The fixtures consist of
shelves on which the cheeses, the milk>vessels and other
household stores have their places.
The »kitchen*hut» koksskalen, (fig. 3), is intended for®
the making of cheese and butter. It is shaped like a cone
and erected of numerous round poles around a skeleton of
some twelve special main poles, the tops of which are
bound together by an osier4ie. The lowest third of the
hut is externally covered with spruce*bark, the rest being
uncovered so as to allow the smoke from the fireplace to
escape. The latter, which is situated in the centre of the
hut, is nearly square and enclosed on three sides by a row
of low stones. The pan in which the milk is cooked hangs
on a notched »pole», suspended above the hearth. The
round shape of the kitchen*hut is noticeable; either we have
therein a survival of a method of construction which in this
country preceded the architecture of the rectangular house,
or we can discern the influence of Finnish immigrants in
whose native country such huts are still common.
The drove extends along one side of the enclosure ; and
it is bordered on the other side by the cattle-pen in which
the cow-house fdhuset is situated. The cows are milked in®
the pen in the mornings and evenings.
The resemblance of the somerset to an old Norse 1 farmer's
home in its simplest form, such as is known by the de*
scriptions in the Icelandic sagas, is to apparent and of too
great interest to be omitted here. The more important build*
ings lay dispersed within the enclosed courtyard even in
1 »01d Norse » is here and subsequently used in its widest senee
expressing what was anciently commonly found in the Scandinavian
countries. Translator's note.
— 10 —
the old Norse farmer's house, and each of them was made
for its own particular purpose and had only a single room.
There were three buildings at least: the living*house, the
cookinghouse, and the storehouse. The living*house, in
Fig. 3. Koksskdlen. The kitchen*hut.
- ii - CD—®
which the family lodged and slept, in its whole plan and
construction resembled the fire^house, stdrriset, in the
somerset. In the middle of the floor lay the open hearth,
from which the smoke escaped through a hole in the roof,
which was the only window in the room. Fixed benches,
which were used at night for sleeping^places, ran along
the walls. There was an open entrance^flor, svale, outside
the doorway in one gable*end. The living^house was cer*
tainly also used in part for the cooking in smaller farm*
yards. The cooking^house was intended for baking, brewing,
cheese*making, and the like. The storehouse, buren, was
the farmer's larder. Outside the real building site lay the
outhouses; the stables and the barns. By evolution and
combination of those primitive buildings the peasant's houses,
which are still peculiar to different parts of our country,
have since arisen.
Eldhuset. The fire-house. 1 ®
This building previously stood in the somerset of Hjarpesbodar on
Solleron in Dalecarlia and was given by Mr Oskar Schollin to Skansen
where it was rejected in the spring of 1905.
There was originally on an old Norse farmer's premises a
hearth in only one of the buildings which hence acquired
1 The name fire^house often met with in old English documents is
analogous to the old Norse eld*hus. In an English vocabulary of the
eleventh century it is called »fyr4ius», a form of word that might just
as well be used in Swedish. Fyr is still in many places in this country
used in the sense of fire. In historic times in England the name of
fireshouse was often used to signify the central part of the dwelling*
house and was then synonymous with the »hall», the »house*part» or
»house*place», forms which we shall later have occassion to refer to.
Notwithstanding the difference between the fire*house described here
and the old English »hall» or »house*place», we take the liberty of
using a translation, which no doubt corresponds to the original meaning
of the English word. Translator's note.
— 12 —
the name of the »fire*house». The latter was used then
both as family*room and kitchen. In later times, when
people began to erect more elaborate dwelling-houses, the
fire*house would have to remain on its site as a cooking*
house, and was used for the coarser dressing of food as
baking, brewing, and cheese*making, retaining its old name
in many places.
The somersets in many points reflect an exceedingly
old-fashioned arrangement of building, and the word eldhus,
or j eld' us (fire*house) is still used as a name for the living*
Fig. 4. Eldhuset The fire*house. From Solleron in Darlecarlia.
house in some places, as for instance in the north of Dale*
carlia. In the somersets of other provinces it is called stdrris
or stores denoting its exterior resemblance to the cooking*
house; the form of this latter building having no doubt
been copied in past times from earlier fire*houses which
were intended for dwelling*houses as well as for kitchens.
The fire*house from Hjarpesbodar in many respects
resembles the stdrris in the somerset from Morsil (com*
pare page 7). The open hearth in the centre of the floor
is to be found here also as well as the smoke^hole, Ijoren,
in the roof above and the fixed benches or bed^shelves
at the sides. The doorway is in one gable*end, but the
porch is reduced merely to a short projection of the roof.
The storehouse, which is usually a separate building, is
here united with the fire^house at its inner gable— a result
of the same tendency to combine the various buildings
that permeates all the history of the evolution of the old
Fig. 5. Morastugan. The Mora4iouse.
Morastugan. The Mora-house.
This building, which previously stood in Ostnor in the parish of
Mora in Dalecarlia, was bought by Dr Arthur Hazelius in 1885 for a
proposed open-air museum. It was erected in Skansen 1891.
The most primitive form of house, to which we may
with certainty liken all our peasant structures and which we
still find almost unaltered in such buildings as the fire*
house of the somerset (fig. 6), was early developed so far
that the open porch was transformed into an enclosed
entrance hall. The latter was then fur*
nished with a door in the gable oppo*
site the doorway of the living-room or
»house*part» (fig. 7). That position of
the doors however, one opposite the
other, did not prevent wind and rain
from easily beating into the house, when
they were opened. The outer door had
therefore, by the close of the heathen
time, in many places been moved to one
side of the building and placed at right
angles to the »house*door». If the inner part of the entrance
floor is shut off as a separate little room, kove, we have the
ground*plan which is
found in the Mora*
house (fig. 8) and
in its main outlines,
is met with in all the
of recent times. The
Morastuga of Skan*
sen is built of pine
with the broadaxe
and cross-cut 1 at the
corners. A small
porch*roof protects the outer door from rain and eaves*
drop. In the northern provinces, for example in Dalecarlia,
Halsingland, Harjedalen, and Jamtland, the porch is known
as barf re (= the German Burgfried). The roof rests on a
Fig. 8. Plan of the Mora*house.
1 Compare the note page 8.
large ridge from which the rafters extend in pairs down to
the wall*plates or »pans», vdggbanden,. i. e. the uppermost
timbers of the side^walls. 1 The boards lying on the rafters
are covered by a layer of birch*bark, which is kept in posi*
tion by half-round cleavings, the takved. Transverse planks,
tdckjor, extending one on each side along the bases of the
slopes, prevent the roofing from sliding down.
Fig. 9. Longitudinal section of the Mora^house.
The interior of the house presents several old-fashioned
features. It is true that the open central hearth has been
replaced by an ordinary fireplace, lying in the right hand
corner inside the door, and that the skylight has been
succeeded by lead4ights in the walls, but the »house=place»
is still open to the ridge-pole. Such a house is therefore
called hogstuga (»high*house»). The elaborately carved
1 The »pans», or »pons», in modern English known as the wall^plates,
occupied the same place as the vdggband in a Swedish building.
— 16 —
clothesrails hang from the roof, one at the projecting cor.
ner of the fireplace, the other further in, dividing the room
into three parts. In the Swedish provincial laws we find
various enactments for violations of domicile within those
limits. The crime was leniently punished if committed be.
tween the treshold and the fireplace, more rigorously if at
the fireplace, and most so, if between this and the gable.
Fig. 10. Interior of the Mora=house.
One side.wall, viz. that between the fireplace an the gable,
is occupied by two enclosed bedsteads with elaborately
woven curtains. Eeach bedstead has two sleeping-places,
one over the other. The upper place is called trallen. The
wall.clock, which is of the housefather's own make, stands
between the bedsteads. The men of Mora practised the
manufacture of clocks, moraklockor, as a domestic art.
That is the reason why the »long table», which otherwise
- 17 - 0_©
always has its place at the inner gable, has been moved
to the side opposite the beds so as to make room for a
clockmaker's bench and a turning*lathe at the fore window.
Another bedstead is placed in the corner next to that.
A piece of skin, bejen, which was used as a cradle, hangs
down from the roof. The part of the room next to the
door forms, as it were, the kitchen of the house. The
fireplace stands there bricked together with the baker's
oven, the chimney, skroiven, serving for both and terminal
ting at the top in a coroniform superstructure. An upright
iron*bar, stopen, is found in the fireplace furnished with
a reversible arm, ringor, on which the pot is hung. A cup*
board with shelves for the kitchen utensils, made of un*
painted deal*boards like the other furniture of the house,
stands in the corner on the left side of the door. The
towel is hung on the post between the »housedoor» and
the »chamber door». The »chamber», koven, usually serves
the same purpose as a storehouse for keeping clothes
and other things in. As the storehouse is often used for
nightlodgings, so the chamber, when occasion requires, also
has to serve for a guest-room. It is covered by its own
little ceiling which is slanting an lower than the outer roof.
Under the latter is consequently formed a loft, which is
reached from the entry by a »stee» or ladder, stikon.
The Mora*house is only one of the buildings that belong
to a Dalecarlia yard; the others, such as storehouses,
stables, and barns, will be erected as soon as possible.
Moraharbret. The "Mora-harbour". ©
Previously situated in Farnas in the parish of Mora, Dalecarlia.
Transported to Skansen in 1897.
Besides the living^house and outhouses there belong to
every Mora farm, as to every old Norse yard one or more
Guide to Skansen. I. 2
— 18 --
storehouses, in which victuals, clothes, and other things
were preserved. When occasion required, the storehouse,
boden, also had to serve for a guest-room and was there*
fore, (even) in the Middle Ages, called hdrbdrge, i. e. lod*
gings or a »harbour». That name we still find preserved
in the south Swedish words hdbbare, hdbbre or hdbba,
Fig. 11 a. Morahdrbret The Mora*harbour.
and in the north Swedish hdbbre or harbur 1 , even if the
harbour, like that from Mora, is used nowadays only as
1 The resemblance especially of this last form to the English word
»harbour» will be noticed. The double meaning of the Swedish hdrbre
or harbour makes it convenient to adopt the word »harbour» as transla*
tion of hdrbre. „ t t ,
The Mora=harbour of Skansen is of a type that is very
common in Mora. It is found, however, in other parts of
the country also, particularly in the Dalecarlia parishes
north of Siljan, in Jamtland, and Harjedalen.
Four pillars, each one yard high, stand over the corners
of a substructure, which is farmed of four cross-cut tim*
bers. They support the sill*frame on wich the »cross*cut»
walls are erected. The sills of the gable^ends consist of
Fig. 11 b. The Mora=harbour.
Corner*prop whith mouse*shelf.
immense half-round cleavings laid flat side down and pro*
jecting with the edges beyond the pillars so as to prevent
rats and mice from forcing their way up into the harbour.
Such a sill is therefore often called »mouse*shelf», mushilla.
The timbers of the gable*ends project a little from the
fore*side of the building forming an open entrance to which
access is gained by steps, cut out of a wooden block and
placed so far from the edge of the entrance*floor that the
mice would not be able to get across. The entrance is
covered by an additional little roof standing out from
— 20 —
beneath the eaves. The date 1595 is carved above the
door. That is the earliest year with which we can with
any degree of certainty connect any of the houses in Skan*
sen, though in all likelihood some of them are older. The
method of construction, which they represent, in any case
often dates much further back. The harbour is interiorly
divided into a ground*floor and a loft to which access is
obtained by a stair cut out of a split piece of timber. The
loft is used for keeping clothes, textiles, and other things;
and the supply of grain, flour, meat, and other victuals
for the use of the house is stored on the ground*floor.
© Blekingsstugan. The "Bleking-house".
Previosly situated in Lilla Brothult, in the parish of Kyrkhult,
Blekinge. Erected in Skansen in 1891.
The old Norse farmer's home consisted, as above men*
tioned, of a great many separate houses which, as their
size depended upon the length of the timber, generally
Fig. 12. Blekingsstugan. The Bleking^house.
contained only one room each. The location of the build*
ings and their relative situation had occasionally to be
accommodated to the conditions of the site. In the beginn*
ing of the Middle Ages the attempt was made to over*
come the difficulties met with in flaming the premises
by a more methodical allocation and concentration of the
buildings. The storehouse or harbour was united at one
gable with the living*house, which had hitherto consisted
of a separate building with a ground*plan resembling, for
instance, that of the Mora*house in Skansen (fig. 8); and
it soon became common in larger farms to add a similar
even to the opposite gable. When the later West*Gothic
law, which dates from the thirteenth century, mentions
bakhdrbdrgi, i. e. a »back*harbour», amongst the build*
ings that ought to be on a parsonage, then the existence
of a »fore s: harbour» must be presupposed; hence we should
Fig. 13. Longitudinal section of the Bleking^house.
Along the line A. B. in fig. 14.
have a house, to the fore* and back*gable of which there
was annexed a harbour*building or bod. Those adjuncts are
even today called framhdbbaret and bakhdbbaret in some
places in southern Sweden; and we know that such har*
bours were built with lofts, i. e. in two stories, even at
the times of the West*Gothic law. It is accordingly beyond
doubt that buildings like the Bleking*house were in use
as early as that. In Sweden this type of building seems
to have been limited, at least in later centuries to the
southern and western parts: Scania, Bleking, Halland, Sma*
land, Bohuslan, and West*Gothland and, in the north*
west, to the neighbourhood of Kinnekulle.
The Bleking.house consists of a lower middle part, the
living.house, and of a harbour.house, with loft, attached
to each of its two gables. These loft.buildings are origin,
ally nothing but storehouses, which have received their
names from their having occasionally served as guest,
rooms. They are built in two stories in opposition to the
dwelling-house, which is built in only one. They conse.
quently rise above the latter like two wing.towers. The
upper stories are used as granaries and larders. The
ground.floor of one harbour is occupied by kistekammaren,
the »box.room» or »summerchamber», that of the other
Fig. 14. Plan of the Bleking=house.
b) »Fore*harbour» (box*room wift lott).
c) Chamber used as laundry.
d) Living-room or house*part.
/) »Back*harbour» (here weaving*closet
by the weaving.closet. There are bedsteads in both. The
upper story of the smaller loft projects a little beyond
the lower story at the front, and back.side indicating the
relationship of these loft.buildings to the common »pas*
sage.harbours» (compare the Virserum.harbour, p. 54).
The house.part is known as hogstuga or ryggdsstuga,
that is to say, it lacks a ceiling and is open as far up.
wards as the main ridge, which with the two side.trees
supports the narrow rafters. A layer of boards covered
with birch.bark is placed on these; and above all are two
layers of sods laid with the roots towards each other. A
log, known as the »mould*ridge», mullasen, which is held
up by the »roof*hooks», takkrokarne, prevents the turf
from sliding down. The skylight, vindogat, is found on
the south side of the roof reminding one of the times
when the fireplace was still an open hearth in the middle of
the flor and when the smoke had no other outlet than a
hole, Ijore, in the roof. It is worthy of note that this remnant
H^^H^^B m H[
HP^^ V'\ ^ -, v : ^^^^^^|
Fig. 15. Interior of the Blekinghouse.
of the ancient vent-hole has been retained even after wall*
windows (in the beginning of the 19 th century) had come
into use in that neighbourhood, and after the hearth had
been moved to one corner of the room as a fire-place
with flue and chimney. An iron^stove stands by the fire*
place into which the embers from the fire-place are put
so as to produce more even and lasting heat. These sto*
ves first became common i Sweden in the middle of the
sixteenth century. In earlier stoves, such as that of the
— 24 —
Bleking*house, fire was, in fact, never made in the stove
itself. They are to be regarded only as a sort of warm*
ing^pans or braziers, as were the oldest earthenware
stoves which were merely supplementary to an open fire*
place situated either in the same or in the adjacent room.
The baker's oven is built in with the fireplace and has a
fire*shelf, fyren, lying in front of it. The baker's oven was
• ■*":*' 'i
Fig. 16. Interior of the Bleking^house.
in earlier times situated in a separate house, the cooking*
house, as is still the case in many places in Sweden. But
even after the cooking*house or kitchen has been moved
into the living-room, as for instance in the Bleking*house,
one may plainly distinguish the various parts, of which
this room is composed, viz. the »house*part», the fire*
place of which is the hearth with the iron^stove, and the
kitchen*part, the fireplace of which consists of the baker's
oven with the fire=shelf.
- 25 - 0—0
The boundary betwen these two parts is shown by the
suspended »crown*bar», bjelken, which extends from the
corner of the fireplace across the room. The kitchen*part
is often paved, even if the rest of the room has a wooden
floor. A table used for the dressing of food is found there
and the »goose*bench», gdsabdnken y has its place under
the table; and there are shelves for the kitchen utensils
at the gableend. The fitting^up of the house^part is simple.
Fixed »chestbenches» kistebdnkar, filled with straw for
the children and servants to sleep in and covered with
worsted counterpanes stand around the walls.
The »enclosed» bedstead of the master and his wife
stands in the inner corner at the south wall. The house*
father has his place at the head of the »grand4able»,
stora bordet, which extends along the gable^bench. He
keeps his valuables in the corner^closet placed next to that.
The walls and the ceiling in the house^part are dressed
at festivals with sewn or woven linen hanging*clothes, charac*
teristic of Bleking, or with painted hangings of linen mate*
rial, usually made in Smaland. 1 (The triangular hanging
at the gable4op is of a make that is characteristic to the
parish of Knared in Halland.)
A little bee-garden is found in front of the house. The
hives stand there on a bench amongst ornamental plants
of the species that are appropriate to a south Swedish
country flower-bed or rosenland. The hop-garden is behind
Stenstugan. The Stone-cabin.
Erected in Skansen after the model of a stone^cabin or stone*cottage
from the parish of Jamshog in Bleking.
In the poor districts of south Sweden we sometimes
still find these buildings, the whole appearance of which
1 A borderland of Bleking.
— 26 —
bears witness to the poverty of their inhabitants. They
generally lie out of the way of cultivated regions and are
often inhabited by people af most irregular life, as gipsies
and their kind. In north-eastern Scania they represent a
very common type of habitations occupied by the labour*
ers at the small glass-works.
Although the stone cottage, by its being half buried in
the ground, takes us back to pikdwelling of the kind to
which men in a low state of culture have often been reduced,
Fig. 17. Stenstugan. The stone^cabin.
we may still recognize in it a form of our erarlier tim*
bered country houses defaced by poverty. The walls are
for want of timber erected of large stone blocks, but the
roof is built in the same manner as that of the timbered
houses. It rests on three ridges which hold up a wainscot
of boards. Birch*bark lies upon this, the uppermost mate*
rial consisting of turf. The cottage like log*cabins of an
earlier date is lighted by a small sky*ligt in the roof. The
fireplace with the baker's oven, which is otherwise usually
situated in the corner inside the door, is placed in this
Fig. 18. Plan of the stone^cabin.
Fig. 19. The stone*cabin (transverse section).
— 28 —
house in the inner gable*end. By this means a certain
amount of wall^building was saved, and the fire-place and
the oven had only to be excavated out of the earth.
The furniture is of the meanest description. A bedstead,
a table, and, in front of this, a seat standing under the
window, a chest, a corner^closet, some chairs, and a shelf
for dishes at the inner gable^wall, comprise almost all. A
Fig. 20. Oktorpsgarden. The Oktorp=farm.
wooden bloch, with a vice and a fragment of anvil, stand*
ing in the centre of the floor, shows that the former
owner of this cottage was a smith or a tinker.
© Oktorpsgarden. The Oktorp-farm.
Formerly situated in Oktorp in the parish of Sloinge, Halland.
Rejected in Skansen in 1896 by contributions from Mr J. Anderson
and Mr I. Hirsch, Stockholm.
The South*Swedish enclosed yard forms the last stage
of the evolution that the old Norse yard has gone through
and still is undergoing in some places towards the concen*
tration of the buildings around a foursided courtyard. In
earlier times, as is still the case in many woodland di*
stricts, the different houses lay apart without any definite
relation to one another.
The buildings gradually begin to arrange themselves
around the sides of the plot but without being really built
together. As long as the building was done in the old
manner by cross*cutting * the timbers at the corners, the
houses had, of course, to be built each for itself to a size
limited by the length of the timbers. Only since the scar*
city of timber has necessitated the expedient of building
in skiftesverk or ladfore, i. e. of split logs or deals ton*
gued into a frame*work of upright posts (fig. 21), a real
Fig. 21. Wall, erected in »skiftesverk».
The figure A shows how the planks are tongued into the woodenposts.
and not only a seeming combination of the houses in an
unbroken succession has been possible. The enclosed
yard accordingly appears in the first place on the wood*
less plains, even if other causes, such as comfort, protec*
tion against the wind, and even against disturbers of the
peace, have helped to bring about the fortified building
round the yard.
The Oktorp*yard lay in a neighbourhood that is neither
pronounced woodland nor plain country, but a mixture
of the two. The living*house, with its two lofts, is built
of timbers that are cross-cut 1 and flat*hewn with the broad*
axe, and it lies separate, not being joined together at the
1 Compare the note, page 8.
Fig. 22. Plan of the Oktorp*farm.
A. »House*place» or »house*part». B. Entrance (»traunce»). C. »Fore*harbour».
D, E. »Back*harbour». F, G. Gateways, »carriage*gates». H. Manservant's room
/, K. Hay*barns. O, R. Corn*barns. L, M, N. Horse* and cow*stables. P. Thresh*
ing*barn. S. Forage*store (»gulf of straw*). T, U, V. Pigsty and sheep*pen.
X. Wood-shed. Y. Well. Z. Brewery and -distillery*.
- 31 - @
corners with the other houses. These, on the other hand,
are erected of oak*planks, tongued into a framework of
upright posts, and form in a running course the three
remaining sides of the yard.
If we look at the location of the different houses of the
yard, we shall notice an adherence to the old fashion. Dur*
ing the mediaeval times and certainly far earlier one could
distinguish between invistarhus } and utvistarhus, » indoor* »
and »outdoor*houses»; these two groups of buildings were
also placed in close proximity to each other (compare the
somerset), the former sometimes even within .a special en*
closure. The »outdoon : houses» consisted of barn, cow*house,
and stable; and these we may meet again in the combined
ranges of outhouses in the Oktorp*yard. Among the »in*
door*houses» were reckoned the dwelling house, the har*
bours and probably also the fire*house or cooking*house.
As early as the thirteenth century it became customary, at
least in Westgothland, to build the »harbours» or store*
houses close up to the gables of the living*hous (compare
the Bleking*house); and since we know that these were at
that time often built up in two stories, we conclude that the
Oktorp*house with its two harbours rising at the gables
must be of very old origin. The house is entered by the
frontdoor of one harbour, which for that reason is called
the »entrance*harbour» or » fo re*harbour », framhdbbaret.
This contains besides the entrance*hall or entry the
weaving*room in which we find two enclosed bedsteads for
the use of guests. A door leads from the entry 1 into the
»house*part». It is low and has a high treshold that a
man can get through only by stooping down — an arrange*
ment that was very appropriate in troubled times, when
the enemies' approach had to be made as difficult as
1 The entrance forms here a regular »trance» or »traunce» (transitus)
leading right through the house as a passage. Translator's note.
possible. The house^part is known as a » high*house», hog=
stuga, open as far upwards as the ridge*tree, ryggdsen.
This together with the two »side4rees», sidodsarne, bears
up the »roof*boards» on which rests a layer of earth and
moss. The somewhat steeper straw^roof rises above this
and the apex or ridge is thatched with »ridge*straw»,
rygghalm, held in position by »ridge*poles», fastened
together in pairs by sticks. The bottom timbers of the
Fig. 23. Oktorpsgdrden. The Oktorp^house.
Interior of the house*part seen from the entrance*door.
side*walls are called the sills, syllarna, those of the gable*
walls the »foot4rees», fottrdna. The wall^plates, i. e. the
topmost timbers of the sides, are named lejderna or
bandtrdna. These are generally somewhat bigger than the
rest of the side^imbers and project into the house like
narrow shelves. They are then called varremmarna (in
-33 - @
northern Scania vallr*dsarne, i. e. the »great timbers»). The
open, walled fireplace stands to the right inside the door
facing the room of which it covers a good part. The
baker's oven is close to the entrance*gable. The mantel*
piece is called bricken or fyrbricken; on it is usually
placed the tinderbox, fyrskrdllet or skorasken, containing
the flint and steel. A beam extends from the projecting
corner of the fireplace on a level with the mantelpiece,
bearing the name of »the poor man's beam», stackare*
bjdlken, thus named because it indicated the limit beyond
which the beggar was not allowed to tread. The »poor
man's beam» also divides the house*part into the real
living-room and the kitchen, i. e. the place right before
the baker's oven between the beam and the entrance
(compare the Bleking*house). The ground is often paved
here, even if the rest of the room has a wood*floor. There
are shelves and cupboards for the kitchen utensils around
the walls. This portion is also called the »fold», kdtten,
because the newborn calves and other small domestic ani*
mals were housed there. The south wall inside the beam
in the real living-room is occupied by two large, fixed
bedsteads, before which linen bed*curtains are hung. The
husband and his wife slept together here with the babies.
The »bed*closet», sdngskdpet, is placed between the bed*
steads. It has a little space underneath closed by a wooden
grate. The chickens and the ducks were enclosed there
during the winter. The skylight is placed over the bed*
frieze, which is fitted up with small cupboards furnished
with doors. It reminds us of the smoke*hole in earlier
houses, when the fireplace still lay in the centre of the
floor as an open hearth without chimney. Another remi*
niscence of those times we also find in the »stick*saver»,
locally known as stickedallan or lyskdringen, a stick a yard
long stuck into a wooden block and furnished at the top
Guide to Skansen. I. 3
with a fork for holding the torch of thin wood. In the
evening this is put in the middle of the floor, where there
was in many houses a hollow lined with clay and filled
with water for the extinction of the sparks that fell down
from the torch — a wise arrangement, especially at Christ*
mas when the whole floor was covered with straw. A
bench called »the northbench», norra bdnken, is fixed to
the north side^wall opposite the bedsteads; and the » gable*
bench », gafvelbdnken, is placed at right angles to it in
the inner gable. They are made like chests with reversible
wooden lids. The remaining bread*crusts were thrown
down into the bench*chest after the meals; and the »bench*
porridge», bdnkvdllingen, was afterwards cooked on them.
The corner*closet, in which the husband kept his papers
and money, is placed in the corner between the »north*
bench» and the »gable*bench». The »high*seat», hogsdtet,
which was exclusively reserved for him, is found at the
head of the »grand table» standing along the »gable*bench».
A loose seat, the »foreseat», forsdtet, is placed before the
table. A couple of chairs and a wall*clock complete the
furniture. The inner end*wall opposite the doorway has,
on a level with the sides, a rack, bricken, on which dishes,
pewter pots, and glazed earthenware are displayed in a
row. The three*sided gable compartment above is called
bjdlken; on it smaller racks are fastened. The walls and
the roof in the house*part are decorated at feasts with
hangings. These consisted long ago of skins or tick woollen
textiles so as to protect the room from draught and cold.
After more closely built walls and better fire-places had
been introduced these hangings were replaced by paintings
executed on thin linen*cloth or paper. Usually they were
scenes from sacred history, less often worldly motives, as
wedding*processions, hunting or the like. They were
always furnished with illustrative texts, and were drawn
- 35 - @— ©
by professional painters, each of whom had a few themes
that he incessantly repeated. The hangings are taken down
in every day life and put into chests. Instead of these,
the house^part is then scantily adorned along the side*
trees with narrow linen hanging^cloths, woven in a plain
pattern of red or blue stripes. The edges of the racks are
trimmed with netted linen lace, trd. From the house^part
we go through a doorway in the inner end^wall into the
»back*harbour», bakhdbbaret or krobbehdbbaret, on the
groundfloor of which we find the »box*room», kistekam-
maren, and the »summer*chamber» sommarstugan. A
stair leads to the upper story, which is the corn^loft,
A separate little building is erected at the north side of
the premises: the brew^house, which before home^distilla*
tion was prohibited was also used for the making of
A small water-mill, »skvaltkvarn», from Halland is
found in the vicinity of the Oktorp^premises (compare the
A country bath-house (= » Russian bath*house»), bastu,
also belonged to a complete Halland farmstead. It was
generally used in common by the villagers.
Bollnasstugan. The Bollnas-house. ©
Formerly situated on the farm number 11, at Herte in the parish
of Bollnas, Halsingland. The yard of which this building formed the
livingshouse originally lay in another place in the village close by the
so-called Bybdcken. As the adjacent lake Herte often rose so high
»that one could row in the barns», the proprietor, Anders Andersson,
with the other villager's permission moved the house up to Knubbacken,
a place situated near by the village, where it stood till it was moved
to Skansen in the summer of 1892.
This house, which was named Knubbstugan after the
place where it was last situated, is built up to timbers that
© - 36 -
are cross-cut at the corners and flattened with the broad*
axe. The roof rests on rafters which are supported below
by the wall^plates or »pans» and at the apex by a large
round ridgepole. Boards lie horizontally on the rafters,
Fig. 24. Bollndsstugan. The Bollnas^house.
and a layer of birch*bark is laid on these. The birch*bark
is kept in position by the wood*roofage, takveden, which
consists of logs split by wedges and threaded at the apex,
two and two, on sticks so that they cannot slide down.
If we look at the accompanying plan, fig. 25, we shall
find the same arrangement as in all later Swedish living*
houses: an entrance hall, a, from which a chamber, c,
kaven, is shut off (here called the » middle chamber »,
mellankammareri), and the » every day *room» or house*part,
dagligstugan, d, (compare the Mora*house). And additio*
nal room is annexed to this at each end. We see on the
right hand side of the entrance hall a »holiday*room»,
helgdagsrum or harrstuga, b, and at the opposite gable
inside the house*part a smaller chamber, the »fore*cham*
ber», framkammaren, e, which serves as a guest-room.
Both these rooms ware originally nothing but store*houses»
as were also the »harbours» or »loftbuildungs» annexed
to the gables of the Bleking^house (compare the Bleking*
house). The difference is that the »harbours» of the Bollnas*
house are only one story high, that their roofs are level
Fig. 25. Plan of the Bollnas^house
Housepart* (»every=day room»).
with the living*house, and that they have been fitted up
with fireplaces like ordinary living-rooms.
The interior of the Bollnas*house, differs in many re*
spects from our simpler and more old-fashioned farm*
houses. The rooms are furnished with an inner wainscot*
roof or ceiling lying horizontally on the same level
with the walls of the entrance*hall, of the »middle*cham*
ber», and of the house*part. One survival of the older,
open type we still have in the »holiday*room», where
the wainscot follows the slopes of the roof up towards
the ridge*pole and is broken by a flat »halfceiling»,
Fig. 26. The Bollnas^house. Longitudinal section, along the line A— B.
— 38 —
half panel, resting on the two side4rees: for another
thing in the »fore*chamber», which has a lower broken
wainscot on three ridges.
With the introduction of ceilings there also followed the
necessity of fitting windows into the walls instead of the
rooWights, which we still find in places where architecture
has remained untouched by the influence of the towns and
the manors (compare theBleking=houseandthe Oktorp*yard).
Fig. 27. The Bollnas4iouse.
The »house*part», seen from the entrance door.
The house*part, or » every day*room», shows an arrange*
ment still existing in northern Sweden, where the cooking*
house or kitchen is not moved into the living*house (com*
pare the Mora*house, the Bleking*house and the Oktorp*
yard). The open fireplace of the house*part was certainly
used for the cooking of the daily meals, but all prepara*
tion of food on a larger scale, as baking, brewing, and
cheese*making, was done in a separate cooking*house or
- 39 - @
kitchen, where also the oven, characteristic of this building,
had its place.
The proprietor of this house, a peasant Per Olsson, in
1786 ordered the painter Jonas Hertman from Bjorktjara
in Bollnas to carry out the paintings that still adorn the
walls and ceilings of the rooms. The wall*decorations,
which for the most part are painted direct on the withe*
washed wall4imbers, represent Biblical scenes, landscapes,
Fig. 28. The Bollnas^house.
The house*part seen from the inner gable.
and other things within ornamental frames in rococo, pro*
bably after the prototypes of old copperplate prints. The
porch before the doorway of the house has been replaced
by a similar one from another equally old house in the
same village, as this proved to be more characteristic of
Laxbrostugan. The Laxbro-house.
Formerly situated at Laxbro, in the parish of Ljusnarsberg in the
mining district of Nya Kopparberg. The propietor Mr J. Westholm in
Laxbro gave it to Skansen, where it was set up in 1896.
The Laxbro-house, which was built in the middle of the
seventeenth century by Michael Hindersson, miner, was
not strictly speaking a peasant's home. Its first owner
was a powerful miner, united by his two marriages to
ladies of noble families and progenitor of a still living,
distinguished miner's family. Even if the house, on that
account, in some respects, as in the arrangement of the
windows and in the shapes of the fireplaces which are
characterized by the taste of the baroque time, reminds
one of a gentleman's residence during the seventeenth
century, it still proves in its whole ground^plan and con*
struction to agree with the contemporary popular dwellings
of central and northern Sweden (compare the Bollnas*
house). The walls are built of timbers which are cross-cut
at the corners and flakhewn with the broad*axe. The
exterior covering of the roof, which rests on three large
ridge-poles, consists of turf. From the porch which is
combined with a small outhouse one enters, on the left,
the house^part. Two small chambers lie inside this at one
side. Another little room, which corresponds to the kdve
still common in the peasants' living*houses, is found at the
opposite side. It has been converted into a kind of kitchen
and furnished with an open fireplace and with shelves for
the kitchen utensils around the walls. A baker's oven is
wanting, however, which seems to indicate that the food*
dressing was originally done in a special building as is
still usual in many places in northern Sweden. The »grand*
room» or »feast*room» is situated on the other side of
the entrance hall. It is called the »judgment*hall», tings=
salen, since the mining court of justice held its sessions
there for a long time. The judgment hall has like the house*
part, an inner broken wainscot*roof or ceiling, which rests
on rafters supported by two large round ridges. It is
bountifully adorned with paintings representing birds and
flowers on a whitewashed ground.
CUD I fll». kill!
Fig. 29. Laxbrostugan. The Laxbro^house.
We see on one gable*wall within a wreath of flowers
the names of the first proprietor of the building, Mickel
Hindersson, and his second wife, Maria van Gent. The
date 1673 indicating the year, when the judgment*hall was
painted, is to be read within a similar frame on the other
side of the entrance.
Of the original furniture there were only the kitchen
shelves, a cabinet, and a couple of corner^cupboards left.
Until proper house*stuf¥ from a miner's home can be pro*
cured, furniture and other things of the taste of the seven*
teenth century selected from the collections of the Museum
are exhibited in the house.
A little garden is arranged at the backside of the house,
showing specimens of the ornamental plants, which were
common in a Swedish garden during the time this house
@ Hornborgastugan. The Hornborga-house.
From the village of Hornborga in the parish of the same name,
WestsGothland, where it belonged to Deragarden and was inhabited
by a fisherman's widow, Slojdalska. In 1898 it was moved to Skansen
as the gift of Director E. Rosenlind of Stockholm.
In many Swedish districts, where the large farmsteads
have long ago been changed according to the fashion of
later times, an obsolete method of construction has often
been maintained in smaller houses. Ridged living*houses
are rarely found on the peasants' farms on the fertile
plain of West=Gothland, but they are still not uncommon
on the crofters' holdings. The Hornborga-house is a very
good example of those West*Gothland cottages of earlier
construction, all of which, on the whole, resemble one
another closely. The building contains a living-room, a
small cattle^house, and a barn built at right angles to the
latter. The living^house is built of timbers planed by the
broad*axe and cross-cut at the corners; other parts of the
building being probably for reason of economy and for
want of large timber erected partly of thin planks tongued
into a framework of upright posts, partly of large rough
stones loosely laid on one another without mortar. The
roof of the house is thatched with straw which is kept
in position by a layer of turf. The thatching of the barn
is held only by long stakes, poller. The living*house is
in its ground*plan comformable to the ground*plan of such
Fig. 30. Hornborgastugan. The Hornborga=house.
7 » 9
Fig. 31. Plan of the Hornborga^house.
dwelling*structures as were common in earlier times all over
Sweden. It consists accordingly of an entrance-hall, a chamber,
have, and a single living-room, »house*part». The latter is
7 * 5> 1 10
Fig. 32. The Hornborga^house. Longitudinal section,
along the line C— D.
open upwards as far as the ridge*tree, from which rafters extend
to the wall*plates, constituting the bearing substructure
for the boards on which the
exterior roofing is placed.
We may still trace in the
scanty fixtures the same
arrangement that was com*
mon in the earlier houses
of larger farms. The open
fireplace in the right hand
corner is built together with
the baker's oven. The part of olwiohi a-o
the room, lying next to the Fig. 33. The Hornborga=house.
doorway infrontofthebaker's Transverse section along the line A-B.
oven, forms the »kitchen» of the house and is paved. It
contains the hen-coop and a shelf far the kitchen uten*
-45- ®— @
sils. Two thin boards, somewhat carved, are fastened to the
rafters and extend transversely. The one next to the coping
corresponds to the »crown=bar», bjdlken, indicating the
boundary between the kitchen and the house^part (com*
pare the Bleking.house, page 20). Only the enclosed bed*
stead reminds one of the fixed furniture of olden times.
The fixed benches are replaced by a settle*bed. There
are two windows instead of the skylight, one in the side*
wall and one in the gableend. The only table of the house
stands before the latter. A damper is placed over the
chimney*shaft, consisting of a stone*slab that can be shut
only from the outside; it is opened by means of a pole.
Soldattorpet. The "tenement" soldier's house.®
Formerly located at Saldefall and belonging to Hogaskog in the
country parish of Eksjo, Smaland. Erected in Skansen in 1905. The
expenses were defrayed by voluntary contributions from the Swedish
The soldier's house was erected at Skansen in comme*
moration of the Swedish method of military tenure which,
organised by Charles XI and in the main unchanged to
the present day, has formed the basis on which the stand*
ing army of Sweden has principally rested. The »tene*
ment» soldier's, the horseman's, or the mariner's 1 wages
were for the most part paid in the form of a small farm
or allotment, torp, appertaining to which was »half a tunn=
land (= 5,904,26 square yards = I acre I rood) of culti*
vated land and a cabbage*garden with meadow^ground for
two car-loads of hay». He therefore became a farmer in
time of peace; and »the life on the rote» 2 became for
1 Viz. a member of the naval force.
2 A district charged with the maintenance of a tenement soldier.
— 46 —
him very much like life in our cottages, though perhaps
with the difference that he enjoyed a greater reputation
as a warrior.
As the number^board on the gables depicts, the soldier's
residence now in Skansen was granted to Private n:o 91,
Vedbo Company of the Kalmar regiment. It consists of
■ !/ A
■ ■•<■ ■ '-.*
[•* . ' ■:■*"■ :\„. , .
Fig. 34. Soldattorpet The soldier's house.
an entrancehall, a »house*part», and a chamber, which,
however, has been converted into a kitchen in later times;
it is built according to the custom of the neighbourhood
and has the legal measurements. The walls are cross-cut
at the corners and planed by the broad^axe. The roof is
an ordinary ridge roof, covered with turf. It is, however,
provided internally with a broken wainscot or »half*ceiling».
This is wanting in the kitchen, which is open as far up
as the ridge-pole. The entrance has its own little roof
provided with a ridge-pole.
- 47 - @— @>
The house^part has a large, open fireplace projecting
right to the centre of the room, because the baker's oven,
which opens into the kitchen, is walled up in the chimney.
This oven had its outlet into the house*part before the
chamber was transformed into a kitchen.
The thatched farm*building belonging to the soldier's®
house stands at the usual distance from the living*house.
The left door opens into the real cow-house, which is
furnished with stalls. The other opens into the threshing*
barn. The space to the right of the threshing^barn was used
for storing the harvest. The straw after being threshed on the
barn^floor was thrown into the room on the opposite side.
A storehouse also belonged to the soldier's home be*
sides the mentioned cow*house. The storehouses found
on allotments of a more recent date are often built close
to or upon the living^house. _
Kolarkojor. Charcoal burners' huts.
Erected in Skansen in 1891. The material was given by Berggrens'
Transport Compani Limited, Stockholm.
We may trace in huts like these, put up for a short
temporary stay, several features of such simple methods
of construction as the men of the North have been redu*
ced to, ere they learnt to make buildings of »cross*cut»
timber. It is true that the hearth of our charcoal burners'
huts is arranged nowadays not in the middle of the floor,
but by a wall as an ordinary fireplace with a flue on the
outside, and must consequently, be considered as an ex*
ceedingly simple imitation of the common fireplace of the
living^houses; but the buildings are, as to the rest of their
construction, of a very primitive shape.
The charcoal burner's hut from Smaland (fig. 35) shows©
even in its ground^plan the same round shape, that we
know from the remains of the stone^age huts. The wood*
Fig. 35. Charcoal burners' hut from Smaland.
work in composed of split logs which incline towards the
summit, forming a conical room hardly more than the
height of a man. The external covering consists of earth
Fig. 36. Charcoal burners' hut from Westmanland.
- 49 - (Ig
and sods. 1 A loose wooden door or shutter closes the
doorway; and the fireplace, which is erected of big boul*
ders, is found on the opposite side. The charcoal-burners
have their bed*places at each side of to door. The beds
consist of some sprucetwigs spread on the bare ground.
Fig. 37. Charcoal burners hut from Westmanland.
The charcoaUburner's hut from Westmanland repre*©
sents a type which frequently occurs in the mining di*
stricts of central Sweden. It is rectangular in ground*
1 The charcoal-burners' huts used in England are described by T.
Winder in the Builder's Journal in the following manner: »They are
composed of a number of thin poles laid together in the form of a cone.
The feet are placed about nine inches apart and they are interlaced
with brushwood. A doorway is formed by laying a lintel from fork to
fork and the whole is covered with sods laid with the grass towards the
hut. A lair of grass and brushwood is formed upon one side, and a
fire, often of charcoal, is lighted upon the hearth in the thresholds
It is to be remarked that this description tallies exactly almost with
what we know of the conical charcoal burners' huts used in other
parts of Sweden. For very often the hearth is placed, not opposite the
door, but close beside the threshold, the hut being composed of thin
poles meeting towards the summit and of brushwood and sods covering
he poles. Translator's note.
G uide to Skansen. I.
plan and has a doorway in one longside. The bulky fire*
place is built up of blocks of stone and constitutes one
gable*end; the other end is piled up of split logs kept in
position by a pair of stakes which are driven into the
ground and bound together with osier4ies. The sides con*
Fig. 38. Charcoal burners' hut from Westmanland.
sist of half-round, split logs sloping towards the apex and
leaning against a ridge which rests on the gables. The two
slopes in this way form a ridged roof standing on the
ground and covered with earth and sods. The greater
part of the floor is covered by a low wooden ledge spread
ower with spruce4wigs and serving for a lair or sleeping*
Nyingen. The "iog-fire'
As timber^cutters and floaters often have to reside far
away in the wilderness but do not stay in the same place
long enough to make it worth while to erect a real hut,
- 51 - ©— (
they make their bed for the night near a log*fire, called
nying. A lair of spruce4wigs is arranged on the ground;
and two large timbers are placed to the windward side
of it, the upper being wedged up somewhat above the
lower so as to form a slit between them. The slit is filled
with chips and splinters of light^wood which, after being
lighthed, set the logs aglowing. The wind carries the heat
ower the brushwood bed, where the men lie with their
feet stretched towards the fire. In this manner they are
able to spend a night in the open air even in the most
The lumberers' cabin. (The wood-camp). ©
Erected in Skansen in the summer of 1906. Given by the Koppar*
berg and Hofors Sawing Mill Company Limited.
This cabin was built by a lumberer from Helsingland
after the pattern of the temporary dwellings which lum*
berers still use in the Northland forests. It is cross-cut at
the corners and consists of round logs. It has a single
room, and the doorway is in the centre of one gable. An
open porch is found outside the door, formed by the pro*
jection of the side^walls and the roof. Inside we find the
hearth, eldpallen, in the middle of the floor. It is con*
structed of dovetailed timbers in the shape of a square
box, filled with stones and gravel. There is a vent-hole
in the roof over the hart to let the smoke out of the
room, and a four*sided, tapering wooden flue is put up
through the hole. It rises like a chimney*shaft over the
apex and stretches inside a good way down below the
roof so as to receive the smoke from the fire-place, with
which it does not communicate directly as is the case in
our common fire-places. Fixed wooden camp=beds, breskar,
$ - 52 -
on which the lumberers have their sleeping*places, five
on each side, extend along the main walls level with the
hearth. They sleep with their feet towards the fire and
their head against the wall.
A small window is found in the inner gable and a table
The lower roof forms an angle. It consists of split logs,
the lower ends of which rest on the main walls, the upper
on two ridges. The roofing, which is composed of split
logs, and the soddayer placed on that are prevented from
sliding down by a log outside the walkplate. A shingle
roof on rafters covers the lower roof.
The resemblance of this Northland wood^camp to the
fire^houses found in the somersets 1 is unmistakable. Even
though the former has not directly received its shape from
the latter, still both may be referred to a very primitive
mode of construction.
© Slogboden. The mowing-booth.
In those parts of the country, where agriculture still
occupies such a place that stock-raising is the principal
occupation and is dependent on the supply of natural
pastures, it is often necessary to bring winter supplies for
the cattle from distant meadows. As this may necessitate
absence from home for several days, the mowers erect
temporary booths or sheds for themselves in which they seek
shelter against storm and rain, prepare their food, and
make a simple sleepingplace for the night. The » mowing*
booth» is a specimen of such a temporary dwelling from
Dalecarlia. It is built of split, cross-cut logs and its three
1 Compare the somerset, pag. 5.
sides form a room, the fourth side being open and closed
only by poles to bar out the cattle and other animals.
The roof, which rests on four large rafters, is made of
thin round spruce^stakes and is covered by a layer of
birch^bark kept in position by superimposed, split logs.
There is a simple bed of boards in the room and a rack
on the inner wall for such necessaries as may have been
Fig. 39. Slogboden. »Mowing*booth» from Dalecarlia.
brought from home. A sloping roof resting on two posts
projects beyond the open side of the booth. Below that,
on the bare ground, they make a fire over which the pot
is hung by an osier4ie. The grindstone, on which the
scythes are sharpened, is placed outside one gable.
Shelters like this are erected by the roads in the mU
derness for the use of the peasants during the time they
are out repairing the highways, as for instance by the road
between Elfdalen and Sarna in Dalecarlia.
Virserumsboden. The "Virserum-harbour".
Formerly situated in the Hvensjogle estate in the parish of Virse*
rum, Smaland. Erected in Skansen in 1899.
The most old-fashioned type of storehouse yet met
with in our country consists of a small one storied, rid*
ged building, built of cross-cut timbers and furnished with
Fig. 40. Virserumsboden. The Virserum-harbour.
a doorway in one gable end. There is an open »floor»
or kind of porch outside the doorway formed by the pro*
jection of the roof and the sidewalls. 1 The house is often
1 Compare the somerset.
- 55 - (g)
built in two stories, and it then has an »outhot» utskott
projecting over the »floor». 1 The same is the case with
the storehouses of certainly younger shape which have
an entrance*floor along one side and a doorway in that. 2
The entrance is then formed by the projecting gables.
This projection is nowadays missing in the lower story
of two-storied harbours. The »harbour»*type then arises,
which is the most common in Sweden, and which we
find again in the storehouse from Virserum.
The Virserum*harbour is built mostly of round, cross*
cut timbers. The roof, which is supported by round ridge*
poles, consists of split logs, known as troer, and of a
layer of birch*bark kept in position by an outer covering
Access is gained by a ladder cut out from a piece of
timber up to the projecting gallery or »aisle», from which
a doorway opens into the loft. The loft is intended for
the storage of grain, the lower story being a provision*
room for flour, meat, and other victuals.
Storehouses of this shape certainly date from very
olden times. During the troubled conditions of the Middle
Ages, when the peasant himself had to defend his pre*
mises and property against the foes' assaults or against
cavalcades of gentry exacting hospitality, the »gallery*har*
bour» was to serve for the fortified cover the which the
inhabitants might retire during the attack. 3 It was more
1 The English word »outshot» and the Swedish utskott are forms
etymologically related. Utskott is the name given to any projection of
the roof or the walls covering or including a space outside the house,
open or enclosed. Compare fig. 2, 4, 11, 40 and 47.
2 Compare the Mora*harbour.
3 Compare the mediaeval burghers' castle<towers, which were pro*
vided with a projecting shooting^passage (German Burgfried, Swedish
barf red, which name was used still for the gallery in the sixteenth
® - 56 ~
fit for that purpose than the other buildings since the
basement floor had no special entrance from the outside
and was accessible only by and interior stair or ladder
leading down from the loft. The outside ladder could also
be pulled up for the purpose of rendering access still
That it was the harbour which was thus fitted out for
defence was quite natural, since the people's stores of
valuables, victuals, clothes, and other things were kept in
it. It was therefore called fataburen, 1 that is the » clothes*
bower ». The old*country*ballads tell us that the women
used to sit at their work in the upper story, hoganlofts*
sal, and the maids had their sleeping^room there in sum*
mer. Hence the name jungfrubur, 2 which means a maiden's
bower. It even happened that the jungfrubur was used by
the lads, the unmarried men, as a living-room. It is told
from the later Middle Ages that a person enjoyed so
freely the king's favour, that he permitted him to sleep
in the harbour (or storehouse) with the »bower*lads».
When occasion required, the storehouse also had to serve
instead of a guest*harbour. It has therefore kept the names
harbur, hdrbe, hdbbare or hdbba, in many places up to
these days; and this even after the building, as is often
the case in South and West Sweden, has been adapted
to form an appendage to one gable of the house. 3
century. In Dalecarlia it is to be met with in the name barfre, the
porch*roof projecting beyond the house^door. In other provinces af
North Sweden the whole of the porch is still generally named barfre).
1 Compare the »Highloft*bower».
2 The English »bower» and the Swedish bur, etymologically related,
seem to have in any case served closely similar purposes, viz. those
of being a living? or sleeping*apartment, especially for the women, and
of being a buttery or some other kind of room to keep such things
as clothes and victuals in. Translators note.
3 Compare the Bleking=house.
Hoganloftburen or fatburen.
The "highloft-bower 44 or "clothes-bower 44 .
A careful reproduction of the »highloft*bower» which stands at the
Bjorkvik estate in the parish of 6stra*Ryd, Ostergotland. Erected in
Skansen in 1893.
The gallery*harbour, i. e. the »highloft»* or »clothes*
bower* 1 known already during an earlier period of the
Fig. 41. The fatbur from Bjorkvik.
Middle Ages, was finally changed so that the gallery em*
braced all the four sides of the upper story; this being
1 Compare the notes under the Virserum^harbour.
@— © - 58 -
done probably in order to increase further its availability
for defence. It then acquired the exterior shown by the
»bower» from Bjorkvik, reminding us very plainly of the
towers of the mediaeval knights' castles, which were pro?
vided with »shooting*passages».
How old the fatbur from Bjorkvik is, cannot for cer?
tain be decided now. Some details of the architecture
indicate however that it had not been erected before the
sixteenth century, though in general it is of a shape
known far back in the Middle Ages.
It is built of large timbers, smoothed with the broad?
axe and cross-cut at the corners. A stair leads to the
upper story from the ground^floor, which was originally
a larder. The upper story was intended for the preserva*
tion of clothes and other things (hence the name of faU
bur, which means »clothes?bower»). The floor of this
room rests on large, crossed beams, the projecting ends
of which support the gallery*passage which is furnished
with wide ligt*openings. Access is gained by a steep stair
from the second floor into a garret which is lighted by
four small dormer-windows. The roof is covered with
The highloft?bower is used at Skansen for the exhibition
of ancient agricultural implements.
©Vastveitloftet. The loft-bower from Vastveit.
Formely situated at Vastveit in Telemarken, Norway. Erected in
Skansen in the summer of 1901.
The »Vastveit*bower» is a two-storied gallery harbour
on pillars, a stabbur, about which all that has been said
of the Virserum^harbour and the Bjorkvik*bower holds
- 59 - ^
good in this case also. Its recemblance to the latter especi*
ally is evident. Here in the »Vastveit*bower» we see still
more clearly that such buildings have served the purpose
of possible defence against the foes' attacks.
Entrance is rendered highly difficult, for the stair, that
leads to the upper story, is so placed as to make it
Fig. 42. The »Vastveit=bower».
necessary to walk around the house in the gallery before
access is gained to the room of the upper story. The
lower story is used as a repository for victuals, the upper
for clothes and the like, but was also intended to do duty
for a guest-room or harbour. When Dr Artur Hazelius
during one of his first travels in Norway saw the Vast*
veitloft, there stood in it a fixed, strangely carved bed*
stead which afterwards found its place in a Norwegian
©— (§) - eo -
The Vastveit*bower is particulary well built of cross*
cut, »oval*cut» timbers. The gallery passage is built in
resvirke, i. e. of upright planks tongued into a framework
of logs. The »entrance*passage» is constructed in the
same way. The latter, originally wanting in storehouses
of the Vastveit*type, also shows by the manner in which
it is built that it is a more recent addition. The planks
in the front^side of the loft prove by the form of the
carvings, that they are no older than the eighteenth
A number of crosses are carved above the upper door
probably in order to protect against sorcery and evil
powers. Numerous slashes of knifves and marks of arrow
heads are seen over the door inside the loft. In Tele*
marken, as elsewhere in the North, it was formely belie*
ved that the evil powers could not force their way in,
since steel had been fixed above the door.
Hackstugan. The "chopping-house".
Moved to Skansen in 1891 from the parish of Orsa in Dalecarlia.
During the long winters, when the care and manage*
ment of the farm left plenty of time to spare, the country
people formerly employed themselves more than they do
now with the manufacture of implements and household*
stuff, partly for their own use, partly also for sale. The
men of Mora until a few years ago practised the manu*
facture of wall*clocks, moraklockor, as a domestic art;
and the peasants of Orsa still make grindstones, mill*
stones, and also, for building purposes, ashlars of the
noted, red »Orsa*sandstone». As such work could not
Fig. 43. Hackstugan. »Chopping=house» from Orsa.
very well be accomplished in the living*house, a special
little shed, known as hackstugan, was erected for the
purpose and furnished with a fireplace.
Frammestadskvarnen. The "Fram- §
From the parish of Frammestad in West^Gothland. Erected in
Skansen in 1900.
The oldest mills known in Sweden are some querns or
hand-mills very likely dating from the younger stone age.
They consist of a bedstone with a shallow cavity in
which the grain was brayed by help of a smaller stone
of round shape. The cavity found in more recent hand*
mills is more regularly circular, and the runner or upper
stone shaped so as to fit it precisely. The grinding is
accomplished by turning the runner around with a peg
which is fitted into a hole at the edge by way of a handle.
There is a wider hole in the centre of the runner into
which the grain is poured.
Fig. 44. The »Frammestad?mill».
The ancient place for the hand-mill was outside the
door of the living*house in an open space called the
» threshing* floor » or the »threshold». Even after the» thre*
shold» was transformed into an enclosed porch, the hand*
mill often kept its place there up to the present day.
- 63 - ^
When the use of a special corn^barn had been adopted,
it was found more suitable to place the mill in the »en*
trance^door found outside the door of that bulding. When
space required two barns, those were put up with the
entrances against each other. The whole then came to
form a house of considerable length, and a carriage^gate
was arranged right through the transept, which had to
serve at the same time for a threshing-floor. As that buil*
ding in more recent times came to form one side of a
rectangular, enclosed yard, we often find the carriage^gate
running right through the barn into the yard and the
handmill standing in the passage. When the corn^harvests
grew larger, even larger mills were required, such as could
no longer be turned by hand. They then constructed
vanes or sails upon the roof which by a gearing through
the roof were put in connection with the runner, turning
it around. At last this machinery became so large that a
special house was needed for its accommodation. Then
it was that wind^mills with an exterior like that of the
»Frammestad*mill» arose. If there was a sufficient supply
of running water, they preferred to build a little water*
mill, skvalU or enfotakvarn, (compare the brook^mill).
Wind*mills like that from Frammestad are known in
West^Gothland as skrulh or holkekvarnar. They are still
found here and there in West^Gothland and Bohuslan.
In Erik Dahlberg's Suecia antiqua et hodierna they are
often seen on pictures from those provinces.
Various hand-mills are exhibited inside the house and
in the entrance.
Skvaltkvarn. The "brook-mill".
This house belonged to farm n:o 2 in Stengardshult, the parish of
As in Halland; and waa moved to Skansen in the autumn of 1905.
The brook*mill has found its place close to the Oktorp*
yard so as to make the set of houses belonging to an
old Halland farm complete there. The mill originally be*
longing to the Oktorp*farm in Halland no longer existed
when the buildings were moved to Skansen. It was con*
sequently necessary to get another from the same neigh*
Another mill of similar construction but of considerably
less antiquity was found in the same village, where the
mill formerly stood, and at the same brook, which falls
into Viskan just below there. The date 1768 was carved
in a log over the door.
Small brook*mills of this kind are not rarely found
even in other parts of Sweden. One often sees them
placed in a row along some brooklet in the vicinity of a
village. Each farmer in the village then keeps his own mill.
As in days of old all the peasants of a village had to
start plowing, sowing, harvesting or doing other work
belonging to the farm on the same day, so they also had
to start grinding at the same time. This latter custom has
been retained in many places until now, at least where
the mills are located successively along a course so small
that the whater*body must be gathered up in a higher
pond for the running of the mills. For if any peasant
does not take the opportunity of grinding when the water
is let out from the mill*pond, it flows by his mill unused,
and afterwards it may take many weeks before sufficient
water has gathered again.
- 65 - @ (g
Those mills are called sporrekvarnar in north Halland;
in other districts they are popularly termed fotkvarnar
or enfotakvarnar, skvaltekvarnar, skvaltor. They repre*
sent the most primitive form of a mill run by mechanical
power, and are in fact only large hand-mills run by water.
The water presses against the slanting floats of an sim*
pie paddle-wheel or turbine of wood, sporren, causing it
to rotate. The perpendicular shaft directly transfers the
spinning motion without a gear to the upper stone, the
runner, by a transverse piece of iron, seglet, which is
fastened to the top of the shaft. The pressure of the
runner, on the amount of which the fineness of the flour
depends, is regulated by the latteverk, an arrangement for
raising and lowering the runner.
When the mill is to be stopped, the wather is conducted
out of the way by moving aside the wooden race, kvarn*
hon, through which the water is directed against the tur*
binefloats or by stemming the water in the race by a wood*
en sluice-gate, stdmmeluckan.
The mill^house is built in skiftesverk; 1 it is made of
oakplanks tongued into grooves, humlingar, carved in four
large corner^posts of oak. The floor is composed of split
deals. The roof projects a little over the entrance*gable in
accordance with an ancient construction found in plan
logbuildings of earlier date. It is thatched with straw,
which is fastened with osier4ies and held by ridge poles
at the apex.
The pigsty. ©
From Neder Soderby in the parish of Sorunda, Sodermanland.
Moved to Skansen in the spring of 1907.
As our rustic living=house, stugan, gradually evolved from
a building with cross-cut corners, a single room and an
1 Compare the Oktorp*yard, page 29.
Guide to Skansen. I. 5
@— (§) - 66 -
open entrance*floor at one gable^end, such was the case
also with the other buildings in the yard. Storehouses
(harbours), barns and stables, constructed in that primi*
tive way, are still found in many places. But just as for
instance the storehouses have attained the proportions of
two-storied buildings with a gallery on one or more sides,
so also have the stables every here and there. The pigsty
from Sorunda shows a type of that kind. It has an open
gallery at one gable and at both sides, formed by a pro*
jection of the low loft>story.
<§) Tjardalen. The tar-furnace.
An imitation of the arrangement for tar^distillation used
in Smaland. In the wide funnel, which is coated internally
with clay, roots and stumps of pine are burnt, covered
with earth and ashes, lest the fire should become hotter
than necessary for the extraction of the tar from the wood.
The tar runs out through a hole in the bottom of the funnel
into a trough and is put into barrels.
The name tjardal, »tar*valley», may have arisen from
the fact that originally a natural hollow or small valley
in the ground was used for the tar^distillation as is still
common in some places.
% Holada. Hay-barn.
From the parish of Neder Kalix in Norrbotten. Erected in Skansen
in 1894. Given by Mr. E. Berggren, Bjorkfors.
This barn is of a shape frequently met with near rivers
and mowing^bogs within the Finnish districts of Norr*
botten and also on the Finnish border, but is now practi*
cally unknown in other parts of Sweden.
A form of building like this, decreasing from the top
- 67 - (§)_ (§)
downwards, is intended to protect the walls against humi*
dity and to prevent the hay from packing too closely,
as it may often have to remain till later on in the winter.
Smedja. The Blacksmith's shop. $
From the old mining districts of northwestern Upland, Bruskebo in
the parish of Vaster^Lofsta. Erected in Skansen 1910. The expences
were defrayed by Consul A. J. Norberg of Harnosand.
The Swedish peasant smithy belongs to those buildings
which have most generally retained the primitive form.
The door is. in one gable*end, and the roof and the side*
walls project so as to form a simple porch (like that in
fig. 2). The open place under the projection, utskottet, is
often used for the keeping of forge*coal, and a bin of
boards is sometimes arranged for that purpose at the
side of the door. The smithy from Upland shows a pe*
culiarity as to that arrangement, the coabbin being con*
structed of timber and forming a front corner of the build*
A village tradition tells that this shop was erected by
the Reverend Abraham, 1 who devoted much of his time
to forgery. »He wished to have the coal*bin so lest he
should be like the peasants».
According to another tradition the smithy was built by
the last owner's grandfather. His son Lars Ersson was
born in 1822, and it is told about him that he was a
clever smith, that he built saw* and threshing*mills, made
1 Fant's Diocesan Annals tell that two churchmen of Vaster*L6fsta
have borne that name, viz. Abraham Benedicti, curate ibidem to 1624
and his son Johan Abraham Aim, curate from 1656, perished by drown?
ing in Lake Hallaren 1661. The tradition probably refers to this latter
%— © - 68 -
edge4ools and other things. Some specimens of his craft
form part of the smithy movables, for instance an iron
for the modelling of axe^handle holes, a half finished
scythe, and a wooden model for saw*mill blades. He spent
all his time in the smithy to the detriment of the big
farm, which was managed by the man-servant and suffer*
ed to fall into decay. Lars Larsson had changed the
chimney at the least on two occasions, and in doing so
he one time had walled it up to the right inside the door.
The window is supposed to be from the curate*house.
Much goes to prove that the former tradition about
the origin of the smithy has a ground, that it was built
by the Rev. Abraham, but in later times passed over into
the possession of the above-mentioned family. Certain
features indicate in any case a higher antiquity than that
which the latter tradition suggests.
The old fixtures and the old tools were included in the
purchase and are found in the smithy.
(§) Finngarden. The Fin-houses.
From the Finnishdistricts of Wermland. Erected in Skansen in 1902
— 1904. The expenses were defrayed partly through a collection by
Engineer A. Pilgren of Malmo, partly through a donation from Countess
Anna Morner, Karlstad, and by the Fredriksshald Timber Company
through the medium of Mr Erik Edgren, Vagsjofors.
From the time of Gustavus Vasa till at all events about
the close of the seventeenth century a great immigration
of Fins into different parts of central and nothern Sweden
took place. Great numbers of immigrants are stated to
have settled especially in Wermland in the years of 1530,
1608 and 1650. The parts of Finland from which most
Fins came were the east borderlands, Savolaks and Karelen,
which were most exposed to devastation during the in*
cessant disturbances of war. The Swedish Government
encouraged the immigration, as the Fins were known for
their ability in opening up new ground. The therefore
obtained their quarters in distant back>woods, principally
in the mining districts where they might be of use at the
same time to the mining business by making charcoal.
In some places these Finnish immigrants have maintained
their old language and their ancient customs till the pre*
sent day with a tenacity characteristic of their nation.
The »smoke*cabin», or kiln, rokstarian or rokstubastun,
formerly stood at Rorkullen in the parish of Lekvattnet
in the county of Fryksdal, close by Rottna river in Werm*
land. Tradition informs us, that it had been originally built
by two female octogenarians »so long ago that nobody
remembers it». That, however, must have been done in
another place than where the building last stood, for a
numbering of the timbers, cut in with an axe, indicates
that it has been marked and moved once before.
A building of this type deserves the appellation and
more than that; for it was used not only as a living*house
and kiln, but also as a house for taking vapour^baths in.
When the immigrated Fins settled in the wilderness and
commenced cultivating — which was almost exclusively
done by clearing the woodland with fire — they, at first,
had to settle themselves with as much simplicity as pos*
sible. They could not at once build separate houses for
different purposes; and so they adopted this special sort
of smoke-house, in which they lived, dried the rye grown
on the burnt woodland, and in which, finally, the might
take the vapour^baths so indispensable to the Fins. Later
on, when they had made themselves more comfortable,
they erected other buildings, above all a special living*
house, porte; and the cabin, mentioned before, usually
had then to serve only as a »bath*house» and kiln.
I - 70 -
The smoke*cabin from Rorkullen is built of round tim*
bers cross-cut at the corners. It consists of a single room
having the door in one gable*end without a porch. The
walls, whose undermost timbers rest on the founda*
tionstones, are rough^hewn with the broad^axe inside up
to the height of a man. Windows are lacking, but there
are three small loop-holes with slide^boards instead of them.
The floor consists of large, split logs, golfklofter\ which
repose on a bolster of transverse joists. A ceiling, flat=tak
made of mixed round and split timbers and covered by
moss and earth, is placed in the same plane with the upper
edge of the walls. The roof, vasstaket, 2 rests on a ridge*
timber and four side4rees, two on each side. On these
lie round spruce^poles, su, six of which are lengthened
outwardly on each side so as to form hooks, utbolskro*
kar. The latter are intended for the retention of the laths,
utbolen, which prevent the outer covering of the roof,
farjen from sliding down. The farj consists of mixed wood*
material, round and split poles, farjtrdn, which serve to
retain the birch^bark covering the su (the inner roofing).
The topmost part of the roof, where all the ends of the
»roofing*trees» meet, as it were, in a crest, is called farj*
The fireplace, from which the whole building acquires
its strange character, is a »smoke*oven».
The peculiarity of the oven is due to the absence of a
chimney*flue standing in direct communication with the
fireplace. It is built of rough stones. When the fire is light*
ed the smoke spreads thence through the whole room,
settling like a thick cloud beneath the ceiling. In older
1 The Swedish names applied to the several parts of these buildings
are derived from the dialect which is current in Wermland.
2 Vasstaket = vattentaket. The literal translation of the word is the
» Waterproof » i. e. the outer roof. Translator's notes.
- 71 - d
houses, after the fire was burnt out, one had to clear out
the smoke through the door and the small loopholes in
the walls. The expedient of making a smoke^hole in the
ceiling and of covering that with a wooden lid, as in the
house from Rorkullen, was only later hit upon. A regular
»smoke4runk» 1 is still lacking here, for after the smoke
has comme up through the hole in the ceiling into the
garret, it has to find its way thence through fissures be*
tween the gable4imbers and any which may be in the
The fireplace rests on a framework, which is composed
of logs planed with the broad^axe and dovetail^jointed at
the corners. This structure projects from the fore^side in
the manner of a bench, called omsbdnken. A cavity, grup
van, which is lined with flat stones, is found in the middle,
exactly before the mouth of the oven, and the embers
and ashes are raked out into it after firing. The part of
the »oven*bench», which extends from the »ash*pit» to
the corner, as also sometimes the upper side of the arch,
is considered to be the best place in the house to sleep
in especially by old persons suffering from the cold.
A large pillar, known as pahas or the »pata*log (pata*
stocken) which supports a beam lying beneath the roof,
stands at the inner corner of the oven. 2 That beam bears
the poles on which the rye, mown on the burnt land, was
put up for drying. A platform, known as lave, composed of
large, half logs, is fitted up in the other corner beneath
the roof. When taking their baths the Finns climbed up
there so as better to enjoy the hot vapour formed by
pouring water over the heated oven. The platform was
used at other times as a bed^shelf; and it was reached
by means of a ladder with steps h^wn out from the log.
1 Compare, page 73.
2 For this beam, compare the Bleking^house, page 20.
An apparatus, vdffat, arranged on the inner gable*wall,
may also be reckoned among the fixed furniture. It simply
consists of some pegs put into the wall. Those pegs, on
which the warping of the yarn was accomplished, was in
its way a substitute for the warping^mill.
The rest of the furniture is extremely simple. The floor
might sometimes have served for a sleeping^place, as did
the bathing^platform and the oven. Bedsteads were very
likely not used in primeval smoke*cabins.
A settle is placed along the right hand side of the room;
and we see in front of that a massive table clumsily cut
out with the axe. Hollows due to the cutting of tobacco
and the crushing of salt are seen at the corners of the
table. A »cupboard», hollowed out from a single wooden
block, is hung on the wall over the settle. The simple furni*
ture is completed by a couple of footstools, krackstolar,
made in one piece of logs with the legs naturally growing
out from them 1 and a chopping=block, on which the
sticks used for lighting were split, was placed beside the
door. The sticks, thus split with the knife, were laid on
the oven or on the poles above to dry. When lighted and
put into the light holder, lyskdring, 2 fixed to the pahas,
they would spread their pale, magic light through the
P The porte (fig. 45) from Ortjarnshojden in the parish
of Lekvattnet in Wermland was known as Damstugan in
the place where it previously stood and was owned by
Olof Olsson in Bratarne.
Damstugan is a porte or »srnoke*cabin» in the true
sense of the word, as it was exclusively intended for a
living*house in opposition to the house from Rorkullen.
1 Sjdlfvuxna, i. e. of spontaneous growth.
2 Literally »lighting old woman», a notched piece of iron or wood
used for holding the sticks. Translator's note.
- 73 - (*
It agrees with the form of porte formerly used in Finland.
The first hard years being over, the Finnish immigrants
resumed the old style of building here.
The porte has a »smoke*cabin oven», rokstu*om, like
that of the kiln; but the construction of the oven as well
as that of the whole building and of the furniture, is no
longer so ^extremely primitive. The oven is coated with
clay and white washed on the front. A vent or conduit
Fig. 45. Damstugan, smoke^cabin from Wermland.
coming out over the mouth of the oven as an opening,
known as the »flamehole», laghdlet, is adjusted in the
arch for bringing about the necessary draught when firing.
For letting the smoke out of the room, a hollow trunk
of a tree, takhalskistan, 1 taktuten, is set over the hole in
1 Literally »the roof*hole*chest». This was in later times usually
made of boards. Translator's note.
\ - 74 —
the ceiling. The smoke is conveyed by that flue through
the roof into the open air without any communication
with the oven.
The walls are built up of round timbers which are cross=
cut at the corners. The simple loopholes are replaced by
two wide, light windows; and the furniture will at all
events satisfy moderate claims to comfort. The long settle,
with its table in front, is to be found also here; but these
Fig. 46. »Cooking*house» belonging to Damstugan.
pieces of furniture are not blocked out so roughly as those
in the house from Rorkullen. A comfortable chair, stabb*
stol or kdrstol, and a spinning-wheel stand at the window; and
an ordinary bedstead has its place in the karsina= nook bet*
ween the oven and the inner gable^wall. Amongst the
furniture we may here, as well as in Rorkullen, count the
ndfverkont, a wallet plaited of birch^bark, and the »birch*
bark shoes», ndfverskorna. The illumination is here also
effected by sticks, pertstickor, which are put into a not*
ched chip of wood, ly stand, affixed to the pahas.
The construction of the roof is essentially the same as
in the house from Rorkullen; but the side4rees are four
on each side, and the roof forms a considerable porch or
»outshot», 1 utskott, projecting over the entrance gable. A
kind of primitive penthouse, smock, composed of spruce*
poles slanting towards the wall, resvirke, is set up by the
side of the door. It is the place for a chopping*block
and generally also for an »osier*bag», barter, used as a »back-
basket» or knapsack for the carrying of miscellaneous ar*
Fig. 47. Stolpbod. »Pillar=harbour».
tides. Even the »snowshoes», trygorna, which like the
barter are made of withes, generally have their place
there, either hung on the wall or put in the smock.
The cook-house, kokhuset (fig. 46), is the »kitchen» and(§)
always belonged to the Damstugan, whereas the two other
buildings in the yard are taken from other places.
1 Compare the Virserurrvharbour.
(§(— @) - 76 -
(g) The »pillar*harbour»\ stolpboden, stolpharburet (fig. 47),
is from Honkamak in Langnas, in the parish of Grasmark
in Wermland; and
(g) the barn, logen, which bears the date 1671, is from
Pojkansana in Hvitkarn in the parish of Lekvattnet in
The Hemtobakspallen is a small plot found behind the
porte Damstugan. It is annually sown with green tobacco
seed (Nicotiana rustica).
The Finns' chief plants, besides tobacco, were turnips
and (»wood»*) rye (= skogsrdg, fallrdg), both grown on
the burnt woodland. We also see in the yard a field in*
tended for the growing of potatoes, a plant which first
came into use in that district in 1789.
(g)_(§) Lapplagret. The Laplander's camp.
The Laplanders form a tribe which belongs to the great
High*Asiatic or Mongolian race of people, being by their
language nearest in relation to the Finns. They are spread
in Russia and Finland north of the 66 th degree of latitude,
in Sweden and Norway north of the 63 rd . Into the North
they have immigrated at a time belonging to the pre*
historic period. At that time they lived in a ,stone*age
which, however, differs from the stone*age of our old
Norse ancestors, especially inasmuch as they chiefly used
slate besides bones and antlers for their edge-tools. They
first learnt the use of metals through contact with the
Although the Lapps, as far as their racial characteristics
and language are concerned, constitute one people, we
1 Compare the notes under the »Virserum*harbour» and the »Mora*
usually divide them according to their mode of living into
two principal groups: »mountain* or wood*Lapps», and
»sea= or fishing Lapps». The former still live as a no*
madic people having most conspicuously retained the sin*
gularities of their tribe. The reindeer is their domestic
animal; and only its ability to find a scanty food of rein*
deer*moss under the snow in the winter makes it possible
for them to get their living in that hard climate. But for
the subsistence of a family a great herd of reindeers is
required. Poor is the Lapp, who owns less than one or
Fig. 48. The Laplanders' camp.
two hundred heads. The meat and the milk of the rein*
deer is the Lapp's main food ; the hide is tanned for skins
and clothes, and many of the smaller household requisites
are made of the antlers, sinews and bones. The Lap*
landers obtain in exchange for the products of the rein*
deer cloth, salt, coffee, tobacco, and flour. The prepare
from the last a kind of unfermented bread.
The mountain*Lapp assisted by his dogs, who keep the
herd together, drives his reindeer around on the mount*
ains above the wood*border in the summer. He moves
downwards towards the close of the summer and arrives
at the border of the forests in the beginning of Septem*
ber. Here at the hostviste, the autumn residence, he is
to stay till the middle of November. The butchering is
done in the beginning of October. The Lapp usually has
his winter quarters down in the forests, following his herd
from pasture to pasture and encamping only for short
Fig. 49. Torfkdta. »Torf=hut».
periods. When the Lapps »roam», gdjsa, from one place
to another, male reindeer are used as beasts of burden or
drawers of the boat^shaped sleighs, pulkorna or akjorna.
The return to the mountains takes place early in the
spring, when the sun commences to melt away the surface
of the snow and the nightfrost forms a sufficient crust.
They come back to the autumn residence again in the
beginning of May. The reindeer having calved, the march
is continued into the mountains through the summer.
The Laplanders' huts, kdtorna, are, except the timbered
ones belonging to the more stationary wood* and fishing
Lapps, erected round a wooden skeleton, which is always
of the same shape in its outlines. It is made up of four
main posts, dtndrisa, the feet of which are placed at the
Fig. 50. Njalla,
frontsview, side*view, and plan.
angles of a square, their upper, somewhat curved ends
intersecting each other in pairs. A ridge-pole, called aule=
muora, is put through the auger^holes bored through the
sections, both ends projecting a little on each side. The
jambs, uksa tjakke, are afterwards threaded on the fore*
most of these ends; they incline upwards and intersect
each other at the top. A pole, known as pdssjotjagge,
placed aslant against the ground, buttresses the hindmost
end. Usually both pairs of mainpoles, i. e. the »crucks»
or »crutches», are connected by an additional cross-piece,
<g)_ <§) - 80 -
vuodjem, a little above the middle. The poles, which
support the outer covering, lean against the vuodjem.
According to the material used for covering distinction is
made between tent*, bark*, turf*, and brushwood*huts. The
door of the tent*huts generally consists of a piece of cloth;
those of the others of a wooden lid, swinging on wooden
hinges or fastened to one jamb by osier*ties.
On entering the hut one usually has to stride over a
heap of fuel lying to dry just inside the door. The hearth,
aran, lies in the centre of the floor on the bare ground,
bordered at the most by some stones placed in a circle.
The pot is suspended from a withe or an iron*chain above.
The smoke from the fire escaps by a hole at the summit,
left open when the hut was being covered. The ground
is covered with spruce*twigs on both sides of the hearth,
the occupants of the hut having their sitting*places there
in the day*time and their sleeping*places at night. The
right hand side is regarded the most esteemed. It is the
master's and his wife's place. There also an honoured
guest is invited. The valuables, such as trinkets and other
house*stuff, are kept in a box at the side opposite the
door. That place was anciently considered to be sacred.
(^ Turf=hut (fig. 49) from an autumn residence in the Lapp*
district of Lule.
Given by C. O. Bergman, Lieutenantecolonel, in Gellivare.
(§§) TenUhut from Gellivare in the Lapp*district of Lule.
(Sg) TenUhut, showing the skeleton of a hut after the remo*
val of the tentcloth.
(g) Tookhouse, luove, for seines and nets, clothes, snow*
shoes, sleighs, and other things. From the autumn resi*
dence in Gellivare, in the Lapp*district of Lule.
(SB) »Cheese=drying hut», mosta*koikom=luove, used for
drying cheeses, for holding milk*vessels, cheese*moulds,
- 81 - (§)
strainers, and so forth. From the autumn residence in
Gellivare, in the Lappdistrict of Lule.
»Pillanbooth» } nfalla, in which the Lapp at starting from@
the autumn residence leaves behind some victuals, clothes,
and other things to remain till his return. From Gellivare
in the Lapp=district of Lule.
»Food=stand», suongero, for drying paunches filled with(g)
blood, fish, meat, and other things. From Gellivare in the
Lapp^district of Lule.
Log'hut, such as the wood* and fishing*Lapps build. ($
Swedenborg's lusthus. Swedenborg's ®
Formerly situated on the lot number 45, Hornsgatan in Stockholm.
Erected in Skansen in 1896 by means of contributions from captains
O. V. Nordenskjold and N. G. Sundstrom.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the weal*
thier citizens of Stockholm generally had their villa*resi*
dences at Soder 1 , to which they removed for the summer
to enjoy the comfort of a dwelling-place unaffected by the
closeness of town and surrounded by a garden. As the
city expanded in that direction, these suburban houses,
malmgdrdarne, became by degrees real city^houses, inhab*
ited the whole year round. Emanuel Swedenborg 2 had
1 Soder, part of Stockholm, forming at that time the south outskirts
of the town.
2 Emanuel Swedenborg, son of Jesper Swedberg, Bishop of Skara, was
born in Stockholm on Jan. 29th, 1688, and died in London March 29* h ,
1772. He was a celebrated natural philosopher, inventor, mathematician,
and poet; but known, however, by his religious philosophy which is
written with a tendency towards mysticism and naturalism. His religious
works, after his death, gave birth to the religious society »The New
church» or »New Jerusalem», which has numerous adherents, especi*
ally in England and America.
Guide to Skansen. I. 6
his residence in Hornsgatan close by Adolf Fredrik's square.
The little summer-house, to which he would withdraw
especially at night, to devote himself undisturbed to studies
and contemplations, was situated in the garden belonging
Fig. 51. Swedenborg's summer-house.
to his property. It is said, that he received most, if not
all, of his spiritual revelations there. The house at the
present contains a 'little Swedenborg museum. His organ
stands on the right hand side ; and portraits, copperplate
prints, and medals, stamped in memory of him, hang
- 83 - <§)— ©
on the walls. A collection of his printed works on natural
science and ology is also exhibited as well as: »The
motion of the earth and the planets», »On the stratifica*
tions of the- mountains», »Arcana caelestia», »De cselo et
inferno», »De ultimo Judicio,» and others.
"Gunilla Bjelke's summer-house".
Previously situated in Soderkoping on the plot which is bordered
by Hasttorgsgatan, Garfvaregrand and Lilian. Given by Consul G. S.
Arwidson to Skansen, where it was erected in 1903.
This house, when in Soderkoping, was popularly called
Gunilla Bjelke's summer-house or chapel. It is, however,
certain that it never was a chapel, but a summer-house
of the kind that was usual in the baroque period. It very
likely formed one of the two wings facing the garden of
a court, the mansion belonging to which, now destroyed,
was situated along Hasttorgsgatan. No fragments are left
of the other wing but the cellar, on which it was built.
That cellar, which is now enclosed in a larger outhouse
built up in later times, forms a complete duplicate of the
one situated under the summer-house, that was removed
to Skansen. Both are covered by barrel*vaults and seem
to have been used for keeping victuals. Whether Queen
Gunilla really erected the house herself, is not known
with any certainty and the tradition needs more careful
research. She might possibly have inherited the plot on
which the house stood, from her father, Johan Axelson
Bielke of Haradshammar and Rafvelstad, a knight and
privy councillor. All trade in olden times was confined
to the towns, it being then necessary to transport the
products of the farms there by the highway. Then it
happened of course that a carter had to stay in town for
quite a time, before all his goods were sold and other
Fig. 52. Gunilla Bielkes summer-house.
things purchased for the needs of the farm. It was there*
fore usual for every farm or landed estate to have a house
in the nearest town. Gunilla is said to have built this
house in Soderkoping or at least the summer-house, since
she, after the death of King johan, had fixed her residence
at Braborg, situated a couple of miles from the town.
Three of the four wooden vaultcopings, which form the
inner roof of the pavilion, are adorned with paintings
which are direct imitations of three known, old copper*
plates. Those plates, which now belong to a series of 52
pictures, illustrating the Metamorphoses of Ovid, were
executed under the guidance of the Haarlem^master Hein*
rich Goltzius by his pupils in 1589 — 90. If the tradition
that this pavilion was built for Queen Gunilla is really
true, it must consequently have been constructed between
the years of 1590 and 1597. The Queen died on the 19 th
of July in the latter year.
The pavilion or summer-house has been re^erected at
Lower Solliden in surroundings corresponding as closely
as possible to those, in which it formerly stood. The
walled foundation has, outwardly, been carefully built
of the same sort of brick as was the original. The
roof which consisted of sheeteiron applied in more recent
times and destroyed by rust, is now replaced by oak*
/JJ\ Fig. 56. Summer-house (pavilion)
from no. 30 Bellmansgatan in Stockholm.
Gift to the Northern Museum by the will of Mr. G. C. Lehnberg.
»Petissan» is a popular name given to this old Stock*
holm house in recent times after it came into use as a
cafe. Originally it was an office*building and belonged
to »The haunted castle» (»spokslottet», Drottninggatan 112),
which was built towards the close of the seventeenth
- 89 - ©— @>
Klockstaplar. Detached bell-towers.
Cast churchbells were already common in Europe at
the time of the introduction of Christianity into Sweden.
They also frequently came into fashion in this country,
with the clang of their metallic tongues calling out the
declaration of war of the new faith against the heathen
gods. A bell in the church of Hemsjo in Smaland bears
the following inscription: » Mortem clamo deum fortem
populum voco. Festaque sanctorum orno vim fugo de*
moniorum.» Their tones were supposed to have the power
of scaring away giants and ogres ; and in order to increase
that power the bells were blessed and consecrated. Lau*
rence Petri mentions that »the papists christen and anoint
bells, using sponsors for that purpose». When the bell
was christened it received a name being usually called
after some saint.
Our oldest country churches were, no doubt built of
wood, except possibly those in the least wooded districts.
They had generally no towers. The bells hung in a separate
cloccnahus, i. e. a »bell*house» or belfry of wood, situated
close by the church as is still usual in many parts of our
country. A steeple from the Middle Ages is very unlikely
to be preserved to the present day. Structures of that
kind, destroyed by fire and decay, have been rebuilt, main*
taining, however, a very primitive mqde of construction.
Hallestadsstapeln. The Hallestad-steeple. (§)
Formerly situated by the church of Hallestad in the county of
Finspangalan in Ostergotland. Sent to Skansen in 1894 as a gift
from the parish of Hallestad. In the autumn of the same year the
steeple stood rejected at Skansen. The church of Hallestad was
burnt down in the preceding year; and the steeple was saved only by
the vigorous efforts of the parishioners.
— 90 —
A tradition is current in Hallestad that the steeple was
erected in 1732. We can, however, only say positively
that it must have been built after 1726, when the old
steeple was destroyed by fire. The Hallestad^steeple is of
a form peculiar to
Though exhibiting in
its framing a very
of construction it still
bears in many re*
spects features charac*
teristic of the taste of
the baroque period.
This holds true espe*
daily of the helmet
of the belfrey, which
is supplied with ar*
from a square sub*
structure with broken
and inclined corners
it suddenly changes
into an octagonal cu*
pola. The latter is
continued upwards as
a lantern, above which
rises a lofty spire the
Fig. 57. The »Hallestad*steeple»
by the symbols of the cross and the cock. The structure
measures 42 metres in height above the ground.
The two bells, hung in the Hallestad steeple and bearing
the name af Konung Oscars klockor, were given by Mrs
Lotten Nordlund (nee Hertzer), and Mrs Maria Ekman
- 91 - ©— @
(nee Lavonius). They were rung for the first time by the
King on the 3 rd of December in 1899, in the presence of
the Crown*prince, the Crown*princess and Prince Eugen.
The dawn of the twentieth century was hailed by their
clang; and it was ordained that they should thereafter be
tolled in commemoration of the death of eminent Swedish
men and women.
Hasjostapeln. The Hasjo-steeple. ^
A careful reconstruction of the belMower which stands by the church
of Hasjo in East Jamtland. Erected in Skansen in 1892, the expenses
being partly defrayed by Prince Karl.
The Hasjo-steeple is of a shape which in its leading
features is met with in quite a number of Northland bell*
towers. When the older steeple, rebuilt in 1684, had been
destroyed according to a memoir found in the chronicles
of the Hasjo church, the present one was erected between
1778—79 by a peasant, Pal Persson, from Stugun in Jamt*
land, who received 1 1 rix*dollars and 5 skilling banco in
salary for his work. The original drawing is kept now
in the church of his native place; which he built up for
his community without receiving any fee for his services.
A diary note from the year 1815, found in the Stugun
parish register of » Deaths and Burials in the Parish of
Stugun from 1798», states: The late Peasant, the church*
warden and sacristan Pal Persson in Stugun expired on
January the 22 nd and was buried on February the 19 th ,
he having during his lifetime in the capacity of Master*
builder erected the Helgum*church of stone; 7 churches
of Wood, of which 6 with Towers, and, besides that, 6
steeples, besides several smaller Public Buildings. —
Been well informed upon Christianity, and a good steady
man. Illness: Pain in the chest. Aged 83». He was
consequently born in 1732. A monument, found in the
churchyard of Stugun and furnished with an inscription
engraved on a copperplate, marked his grave till a few
years ago. Where Pal Persson learnt his art is not known,
Fig. 58. Hasjostapeln. The »Hasjo*steeple».
but in all probability he was a self4aught man, who deve*
loped a sort of architecture prevalent in the neighbourhood,
adhering to forms characteristic of the art of building of
the baroque period. This is most conspicuously shown
— 93 —
by the outlines of the roof and by the arrangement of the
»belfrye», which consists of an open gallery furnished with
a balustrade of turned columns. Two bells are now hung
in this belfrye, which were made by the noted beMounder
Gerhard Meijer of Stockholm and belonged formerly to
the] chapel of the Queen Dowager Hedvig Eleonora at
Ulriksdal. They are a gift to Skansen from King Oscar II.
The height of the tower over the ground is somewhat
more than 21 metres (about 69 feet).
Grafvardar. Sepulchral monuments. ©
Some sepulchral monuments of various forms, found in
different parts of our country, are exhibited close to the
Hasjosteeple. Some of them,
turies, show a very old-fashioned
appearance. The stone^crosses
from the parish of Rackeby in
WeskGothland for example
differ but slightly from those
used during the Middle Ages.
On many of the stone*monu-
ments as well as on the iron
monuments we find the cross
encircled within a ring, origin*
ally signifying the sun wheel,
i. e. the symbol of the »Sun*
God», which was afterwards
absorbed into Christian sym*
Fig. 59. Grave*cross
from Rackeby. in West*Gothland.
©— © - 94 -
Runstenar, Runic monuments, rune-stones.
The runes are alphabetic signs which were developed,
probably in the second century A. D., by the Teutons
living north of the Black Sea, after the Grecian italics,
which writing that people used in daily life. In order to
represent those Teutonic sounds, which were missing in
the Grecian language, they supplemented the above men*
tioned italics with characters borrowed from the Roman
alphabet. The runic forms, however, differed essentially
from the above mentioned prototypes; and the change
was called for by the fact that they were mostly produ*
ced in wood, in which material curved lines would have
been difficult to carve; and lines running parallel with
the grain of the wood would have become indistinct.
The runes spread rapidly to most of the Teutonic tri*
bes, and they were found in Gothland as early as the
4 th century. The oldest common Teutonic »rune*line»
(runic alphabet), consisted of 24 runes:
rhl>FK<X!>:H + Ul,fiY*:tBMPU<>M*
futharkgw hnijepRS tbemlngdo
t> = English th; p = English w; $ sometimes signified e,
sometimes i. Y at first signified sonorous s, but later an
(i4inged) resound, usually represented by R; it is almost
exclusively found at the end of the words.
The oldest runic inscriptions are read from right to
left. Later inscriptions are generally read from left to
The runes evolved differently in different territories
just as the dialects did. A new runic line, consisting of
16 signs, was developed in the North as early as the
9 th century. It presents two separate readings, viz. one
northern, Swedish*Norwegian, consisting of the following
- 95 - ©— <§)
futhark hnias t b m l *r
This reading was used in Gothland and East*Gothland, in
the Malar*valley, in Norway and the Norwegian colonies
in the British Islands.
The custom of raising rune*stones increased in the II th
century; and the rune*line above mentioned was displaced
then by the southern Danish or ordinary line in all
those provinces, excepting in the British Islands, where
the use of the old one was continuously kept up. Danish
or ordinary line:
r h I* fc K : * + I + H : T fcYh/k
futhark hnias t b m l *r
The rune A = r at the end of words; within a word
it usually signifies y, 6, e or ce; a denotes a nasal a y ce.
The » dotted runes» were gradually brought into fashion
during the earliest period of the Middle Ages for the re*
production of all Roman characters introduced with
Christian culture: \ =■■ e, Y = g, P) == y 4 = d, and % = p.
A signified a, 1 o y \ a, 4 s o, and v z in this rune*line.
In Gothland and Dalecarlia the last runic alphabet, added
to signs from the Roman alphabet, survived almost to the
The custom of raising runic monuments became very
common, especially during the first centuries after the in*
troduction of Christianity. The stone was then usually
raised either in commemoration of some kinsman with a
prayer for the happiness of his soul, or in order to con*
secrate the memory of a martial deed or a peaceful
achievement. A great number of runic monuments, origi*
nating mostly from the eleventh century, tell that the
stone was erected in remembrance of the construction of
a road, or bridge, carried out by someone for the pur*
<§)— © - 96 -
pose of gaining salvation for his own soul, or for the
souls of his kinsmen.
© Rune*stone from Norslunda, the parish of Norrsunda
in the county of Erlinghundra, Upland. The inscription,
in part much damaged, has by aid of older drawings
been interpreted in the following manner:
Mh+ . KIWIhKR i +[\K Ht[l]hriUI>K i HftK . h[IKNhTK]
Nth . fc[+IM . ] HTIh [ . ] Mh^ni/k . HIWHI[> . ] KIMi+fc]
Hh[h]H [ • 1 Htl . l\[M?]<i Kht> *Mhfcl [*]hh[hlNY]
The inscription in translation is thought to run thus: 1
»Kylving and Stenfrid and Sigfast let raise this stone
over Osten, Gunnar's son, who owned Harg? God help
© Rune*stone from Hagerstalund, formerly called Hansta,
in the parish of Spanga in the county of Sollentuna, Up*
. nm+fc x +hK x iMtnm . nn x k+ih+ . mm-
H14IW • trtR . HPlHthR: . *ilYH . hl++ . ♦MTlYtt . *Mi
Translation: 1 »Gardar and Jorund let raise this stone
after their sister's sons Ernmund and Ingemund». Accor*
ding to the inscription on another monument, formerly
situated in the vicinity of this one, Gerdar and Jorund
died in Greece.
© Rune«stone from Olstad, the parish of Gryta in the
county of Hagunda, Upland. Inscription:
*Mltt i +I\I>IMTR; . KhM* i *MTtlH i Nth Wt* htlh
MM 8 . irtl/k . IMT « NhMIVM/k *MMM . Ih NhYhhtK *lh
1 Literal translation.
Fig. 60. Runic monument from Linga,
in the parish of Ofverjarna
Translation: 1 »Bjorn,
Odulf, Gunnar, and
Holmdis let raise this
stone after Ulf, Ginlog's
husband, but Asmund
hewed» (the runes).
This Asmund carved
a score of inscriptions
in the middle of Upland
and in Gestrikland.
Linga, the parish of
Ofvenjarna in Soder*
manland. It bears an
inscription on the front
and on the top as well,
as on the back. The
inscription found on
the front and the top
: -HhKhf/k : fc+IHDI : HH+ : Dtthl : +t : DIW+HT : Y+K :
Hit TIH+ : +T m\\>t\k HI+
Contents: 1 »Helgulf raised this stone after Trofast, his
brother in law, Disa after her brother. The inscription on
Hh+ N+RI>[I] irT[Lk] — HI++
Translation: 1 »Disa made (the monument) after her...»
The Linga^monument is singular in the respect that it
bears tie*runes and secret runes besides common runes.
Guide to Skanseti. I.
Our heathen ancestors mostly travelled on foot or on
horseback. Burdens were transported on pack-horses. In
spite of the fact that man, even in the bronze age as
shown by the stone^engraved figures from that period,
knew both two*wheeled*carts and four-wheeled carriages,
such conveyances were not used for long journeys before
the Middle Ages, because the roads were too bad. If
possible, one rather went by sea, or one went sleighing
in the winter. Interest in the improvement of the roads
only awoke under the influence of the clergy after the
introduction of Christianity. Many runic monuments bear
witness to this fact, the inscriptions telling us that they
were erected by him or those, who had made a road or
a »bridge» 1 in the hope of salvation for their own soul
or the souls of their kinsmen.
From a later period of the Middle Ages we find enact*
ments as to the keeping the roads in repair. Distinction
is made between high-roads, village roads, and private
roads. In the EaskGothic Law we read: »Now is to be
'thing*road' (courkroad), and people's road, man's road,
and king's road, ten yards in width. » » Magnus Erikson's
public country law» prescribes that a bridge^survey was
to be held twice a year, one at the beltane (May I st ), the
second at Michaelmas (Sept. 29 th ). Nevertheless the roads
were even so miserable in the middle of the sixteenth
century that a German traveller, who was to pass from
Stockholm to Malmo, rather continued sleighing even after
the snow had melted, than expose himself to being shaken
1 Here of course in the sense of a rustic bridge of the old sort,
- 99 - @
to pieces in a cart. Finally he had to leave the sledge
and to continue travelling on horseback.
Great improvements in the public roads were under*
taken in the middle of the seventeenth century. They
were measured, and mile-posts were put up for every
whole or half mile or fpr every quarter of a mile. These
were generally cut out of stone and erected in the middle
of cairns built up by the roadside. New measurings and
divisions of the roads have taken place in recent times.
Mile-posts were often cast of iron in the eighteenth cen*
tury. The name mile*post, milstolpe, shows, howerer, that
the oldest were made of wood, as some extant examples
Milestone (mile-post of stone), dated 1663; from the©
parish of Njurunda in Medelpad.
Fig. 61. Milestone
3 «*^'^*<* a WJ9n , 2»*
Fig. 62. Milestone
(fifo Mile-stone, dated 1663; from the parish of Enanger in
@ Milestone, dated 1663. Formerly situated at Oringarne,
a short distance north of Hernosand.
/Qv Milestone, dated 1666. Formerly situated at Nissastigen
between Halmstad and the inn of Drahered in Halland
(g) Milestone, dated 1666; from the parish of Sloinge in
(gg) Milestone, dated 1671; from the parish of Nettraby
in Blekinge (fig. 62).
/ggv Milestone, dated 1674. Formerly situated at Nissastigen
close south of the inn of Unnaryd in Smaland.
(57) Milestone, dated 1675; from the parish of Saby,
(5^) Milestone, dated 1707; from the parish of Leksberg
(gj) Milestone, dated 1737; from the parish of Ucklum,
(§d) Mile-post of iron; from the time of Adolf Fredrik.
From the parish of Ramsberg, Westmanland.
(g) Mile*post of iron, dated 1764; from the county of
Holebo, in Sodermanland.
^2) Mile*post of iron, dated 1766; from the parish of
^ Mile-post of iron, dated 1777; from the county of
Holebo in Sodermanland.
(g) Milestone, dated 1779; from the paris of Hvetlanda,
101 - <§)—(§)
Milestone, made in 1781 at Yxhult, then Hallebraten,<§)
in Narike, as a sample for the State.
Mile-post of iron, dated 181 1 ; from South Angermanland.<§)
Mile-post of iron from Siljord in Telemarken, Norway.©
One bearing the arms of East*
Gothland, the other those of
Sodermanland, showing under*
neath an inscription to the follow*
OSTERGOTLAND COMMENCES AT
THIS BROOK AND THIS STONE IS ERECT*
ED IN 1684 BY LORDLIEUTENANT AXEL
These stones originally formed
the boundary marks between East*
Gothland and Sodermanland at
the road, now spoilt, between
Norrkoping and Nykoping. They
have not served their original
purpose in later times, because
the provincial boundary through
the reconstruction of the road
and through exchange of ground
between the inn of Krokek and adjacent villages is at the
precent day quite different from what it was in 1684.
Fig. 63. Boundary*stone,
from the boundary of Sodermanland
§|) © - 102 -
© Majstang. May-pole.
From the village of Gardsjo in the parish of Rattvik,
Dalecarlia. Poles of this kind, decorated with leaves, flowers,
egg-shells, and other things, are still put up in many
places in Sweden. It is difficult to decide, how long the
May*poles of the North have had the appearance shown
by this specimen. The oldest existing reproductions of
May^poles are probably those seen in some of the plates
found in Erik Dahlberg's »Svecia antiqua et hodierna».
In German woodcuts and copperplate prints from the
Renaissance we not seldom see poles, rather resembling
this one, erected near the dwelling-houses. It is possible
that with us the May*po!e is a relatively late form of the
ancient »spring* or summer4ree» which in the Middle
Ages, generally on the beltane May 1 st was carried into
the village or town with pomp and splendour. In this
ceremony of »carrying May or summer into the village»
we have undoubtedly a survival of a treecult preserved
by the northerners as well as by many other nations
from a very remote past.
9 ® Elfkvarnar. Sacrificial stones.
That our ancestors, even as far back as the stone^age,
had an idea about a life to come is shown amongst
other things by the fact that weapons, household goods,
victuals and other things are found deposited in graves
dating from that period. It was evidently believed that
the dead man might have use for them. Even as early
as that it was very likely a custom to sacrifice to the
- 103 - @— ©
spirits of the deceased. Small cavities are found on the
rookstones in graves of the stone*age and sometimes also
inside the graves. That these were intended for sacrificing
is, amongst other circumstances, rendered probable by
the fact that people have sacrificed in them still up to
the latest times. They are popularly called »Elfkvarnar»;
and this word also refers to a death^cult. »Elf», in Swe*
dish named elfva or alf y was formerly a common name
for the soul of a dead man. 1
In the »sacrificial stones» exhibited at Skansen, all of
which are from Upland, sacrifices were made even in the
eighties, and were carried out in the following manner.
Cavities were greased with unsalted lard or butter. Copper*
coins or pins, newer things made of steel or iron, were
afterwards laid in them during profound silence.
Sacrificial stone from Kymlinge in the parish of Spanga,@)
Sacrificial stone from the village of Harsta in the®
parish of Norrby, Upland.
Sacrificial stone from the parish of Enanger, Upland.©
Sacrificial stone from Bjorklund in the parish of En*@
Flagstone with cup^shaped cavities resembling those@
of the »elfquerns». From a bronze age grave in Tuna
gard, in the parish of Ytterhorna, Sodermanland.
Sacrificial pile, »offerstack», from Dalecarlia. In some©
places it was formerly and is perhaps still a custom, for
The literal translation of elfkvarn is »elf*quern».
those, passing by a place where a murder 1 had been
committed, to throw twigs or stones upon a pile there.
Every time the pile grew too high it was set on fire and
@) Whet*stone from the stone^age. Used for whelting axes
and chisels of stone. From the parish of Etelhem, Goth*
© Whetstone from the stonage. From the parish of Lye,
(jg) Poorsbox (alms*box) from Grisslehamn in the parish of
© Stocks from the parish of Ukna, Smaland.
@ Whippingpost from the parish of Ilsbo, Helsingland.
(§2) Salutesbattery, concisting of six smooth^bored six*
pounders with appertaining carriages from the docks of
the Royal Navy in Karlskrona; sent to Skansen as a gift
of the Admiralty.
1 Or adultery. Sacrifices were made for this kind of crime in the
parish of Mangskog, Wermland, even in 1890. Translator's note.
Alms*box, see poor-box 104 (jg)
from the Finnish district of Wermland 76 @
from Nederkalix * 66 (2§)
BelMowers (Detached) 89 @ @
Bleking?house 20 Qy
Bollnas*house (Helsingland) 35 Ql)
Boundary stones 101 (|g)
Brook^mill 64 @
Cattle-shed in the somerset 9 @
Charcoal burners' huts 47 (j|) (lg)
Cheese*drying hut in the Laplanders camp 80 (3g)
Chopping*house from Dalecarlia 60 (22)
Cook-house in the Finn-yard 75 (2g)
Cow-house from Smaland 47 @
Finnhouses from Wermland 68 (S>) @)
Fire^house in the somerset 7 Q)
Fire^house from Dalecarlia 11 Qy
Food^stand in the Laplanders' camp 81 @
Frammestad*mill (West*Gothland) 61 @)
Hay*barn from Nederkalix 66 Q§)
Highloft*bower from Bjorkvik (East*Gothland) 57 @
Hornborga*house (West*Gothland) 42 @
Hasjo*steeple (Jamtland) 9i ©
- 106 -
Hallestad*steeple (East*Gothland) 89 @
Kitchen^hut in the somerset 9 ^y
Laplanders' camp 76 m)«
Laplanders' huts 79 (S) Q£)
Laxbro^house (Westmanland) 40 (12)
Loftebower from Vastveit in Norway 58 @
Log*fire 50 (g)
Log*hut in the Laplanders' camp 81 (3w
Lumberers' cabin 51 (^
May^pole from Dalecarlia 102 (§§)
Mile-posts 98 @ @
Mora*harbour (Dalecarlia) , 17 (fy
Mora^house (Dalecarlia) 13 ^y
Mowing*booth from Dalecarlia 52 Q8)
Oktorp.yard (Halland) 28 @
»Petissan» . 88 @)
Pigsty 65 @
Pillar^booth in the Laplanders' camp 81 (|§)
Pillar*harbour in the Finn*yard 76 (ffi)
Poor-box 104 (j|)
Whetstones 104 @ @
Rune*stones 94 @ (§)
Sacrificial pile 103 (j§)
Sacrificial stones 103 @) @
Salute*battery 104 (^2)
Sepulchral monuments 93 fi|)
Smoke*cabin in the Finn*yard 68 (|§)
Soldier's house (tenement) from Smaland 45 (||)
Somerset from Jamtland 5 (l)— (i)
Stocks 104 @
Stone^cabin from Bleking 25 Qy
Storehouse in the somerset 9 (2)
Swedenborg's 81 @)
Gunilla Bielke's 83 @
from no 30 Bellmansgatan, Stockholm 88 (§)
Tar*furnace from Smaland 66 ^)
Tent^huts in the Laplanders' camp 80 @ @
Tool*house » » » » 80 (g)
Turfchut in the Laplanders' camp 80 (3l)
Virserum=harbour (Smaland) 54 (lg)
Whippingpost 104 @)
Wood^camp (see lumberers' cabin).
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