Top Historic Sights in Vattholma, Sweden

Explore the historic highlights of Vattholma

Lena Church

The church of Lena was built around the year 1300 and consisted of nave, tower and vestry. Wall paintings were added in the early 16th century. The church's eastern part is a chapel where members of the family Bielke are buried. The altarpiece was made in 1491 by carpenter Lars Germundsson in Enköping. Next to the near vicarage are ruins from the late Iron Age, namely, five burial mounds, a large number of stone formati ...
Founded: ca. 1300 | Location: Vattholma, Sweden

Vattholma Ironworks

The Vattholma ironworks is one of the oldest in Sweden. Smelters are believed to have been active here back as far as the 15th century. Wattholma operated under the Crown until the end of the 16th century. Walloon forging was introduced during the 1600s and was used until the 1870s, when it was replaced by the Lancashire method. Wattholma also featured a blast furnace that was moved in 1758. Bar iron production ceased in ...
Founded: 1545 | Location: Vattholma, Sweden

Salsta Castle

Salsta Castle is one of the finest Baroque palaces in Uppland. The earliest known settlement in Salsta was a fortified farm from the early Middle Ages and the first known owner was Magnus Greg Ersson in the 1300s. The family of Bielke became the owner of Salsta in the 1500s and they erected a three-storey Renaissance castle. The present castle with park was built in 1672-78 by Nils Bielke and the building master was Mathi ...
Founded: 1672-1678 | Location: Vattholma, Sweden

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Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.