The Old Church of Ytterlännäs dates from the early 13th century, retaining the original walls and the Romanesque outer door with its iron ornament around the keyhole, and a lion's head from c. 800 from the area of Byzantine cultural influence around Constantinople.
In the 15th century a vestry and a 'weapon-house' (porch) were added, the choir was extended to make it as wide as the rest of the church, the roof was raised with vaults of brick, the windows enlarged, the Maria-bell was cast, and there is a candle-holder featuring a cock and a spiral central pillar. In the vaults and on the walls there are well-preserved frescos from the late 15th century, featuring a variety of biblical references and the legends of saints. It also includes an inscription interpreted by the art historian Henrik Cornell in 1918 as spelling maalede Eghil, 'painted by Eghil'. This was re-interpreted by Einar Bager in a 1969 publication as simply the incipit of the alphabet; the anonymous painter, who belonged to the Tierp school, is now known as Alfabetsmästaren, the Alphabet Master.
From the 14th century there is a marble baptismal font from Gotland, and a crucifix. An altarpiece in the Lübeck style has been displayed in several positions. The Ytterlännäs Madonna from Haaken Gulleson's Hälsingland workshop features both the coat of arms of the archdiocese, to which the church belonged at the time, and the personal arms (the claw of an eagle) of Archbishop Jakob Ulfsson, and is presumably a donation made on the occasion of his visit in 1507. From the 17th century there are pews, a wooden floor with broad planks and one panel of a pulpit; the first of the galleries' three sections is dated 1652.
In the 18th century a rare second gallery was added, as well as a new pulpit and a new altarpiece featuring a sculpture of the Last Supper with 1+13 round the table. Under protest the paintings of saints on the wall, the saints images in the ceilings and the other decoration was not touched. In 1773 the separate bell-tower burned down and was replaced by mounting the bells above the church itself, under a broken roof.
In the mid-19th century a larger church was needed to house the growing population, and it was decided to re-use the stones from the old church to build a new: but in an impassioned and rhetorical speech, magistrate Carl Martin Schönmeyer, the owner of the estateAngsta gård, managed to turn the decision in favour of leaving the old church untouched. It was abandoned and the Maria-bell was used at the smaller of two bells in the new church.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.