Skansen

The Skogaholm manor

Press Release   •   Feb 10, 2011 07:51 GMT

Skogaholm Manor (Skogaholms herrgård). The Skogaholm Manor shows what a manor house in central Sweden might look like at the end of the 18th century with its principal building, wings and pavilions grouped around a yard and encompassed by a fence. A manor of this size would have had a substantial farm with barns, stables and various utility buildings. These buildings are represented at Skansen by a threshing barn and a large storage shed to the west of the main building.

A large and varied working force was needed to run the manor. Besides those working in the house as maids and menservants, there were dairymaids, stable hands, gardeners and various types of craftsmen. The employees lived in various lodgings near to the house or in cottages on the outskirts of the farm. From the end of the 18th century there were also indentured labourers with their families.

The main building comes from Skogaholm in Närke. It was built in the Caroline style in 1680 with a mansard roof. The wooden walls were painted with the Falun red paint and there were small, leaded windows. During the 1790s the building was modernized and acquired its present appearance: the walls were rendered and painted yellow to look like French sandstone and the windows were enlarged. The old building timbers can still be seen behind the upper windowpanes.

Entering through the hall the large drawing room lies straight ahead. It is built out on the garden side with windows on three sides. The furnishings are entirely in the sobre Swedish Rococo style and there are portraits of the Wennerstedt family let into the walls. The Wennerstedt family owned Skogaholm until the beginning of the 19th century. Along the corridor to the left are the proprietor’s three rooms: the bedchamber, the parlour and the Chinese drawing room. The room to the right, the yellow spare room, has Swedish Rococo furnishings. There are four rooms in the right-hand corridor, all in the Swedish Rococo style: the blue room, the nursery and the mistress of the house’s own parlour and bedchamber.

The red-painted wings come from Gullaskruv in Småland. The eastern wing contains the kitchen which was housed in a separate building because of the risk of fire. And with the kitchen at a distance the manor was not disturbed. Food was prepared on the iron range and there was special provision for dishes requiring lengthy cooking. There was also a bread oven. The finished dishes, covered by domed brass lids, were carried over the yard to the dining room in the main building. The kitchen wing also houses a maids’ room with three beds, a larder, the servants’ dining room and the housekeeper’s room.

The west wing contains the library, the china pantry and five guest rooms. In the pantry the blue and white china service used for special occasions is displayed.

At the southern corner of the yard there are two pavilions. The one to the west is a summerhouse from Söderköping that was built at the end of the 17th century. The original decor remains showing scenes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The pavilion to the east is a copy of that from Söderköping and has been fitted out as an armoury for two knights.

To the north of the main building there is a little “parterre” similar to those of French Baroque gardens: low stone terraces with steps and four squares surrounded by low box hedges.

To the east of the main building is the kitchen garden in two parts, surrounded by traditional Swedish fruit trees and bushes. Various older sorts of vegetables and herbs are grown in the kitchen garden such as winter greens, carrots, root parsley and lovage. To the north the kitchen garden is bordered by a vaulted walk of deciduous trees. In the middle of the walk there is a summerhouse, built about 1700. Leading in to the main building from east and west there are avenues of trimmed lime trees. At the entrance to the eastern avenue, there is a gate made at the iron foundry at Skogaholm.