The history of Orisberg mansion dates back to 1676, when the mayor of Vaasa, James Rossi, with his partners were licensed to establish and ironworks to Orisberg. There were 11 owners, until in 1783 a Stockholm merchant and shipowner, Bengt Björkman, acquired Orisberg and several other ironworks in Finland. Due the nobility family name later was changed to Björkenheim.
Captain Lars Magnus and Lovisa Wilhelmiina Björkman host of the manor as a pair and they begged permission to hire a priest and build their own church. These permits were granted and the mansion was an independent parish for 40 years from 1828 to 1868. Orisberg church, bell tower and the parsonage was designed by architect Carl Ludvig Engel.
In addition to managing a small church pastor's duties included work as a teacher. Because there were not yet elementary schools the wealthiest people sent their children to school in Orisberg even over long distances.
Today Orisberg is one of the recreation centers run by Logos Ministries in Finland, an organization within the Lutheran Church of Finland. It offers services for visitors in the summer time. There are cabins for rent, well equipped camping area for tents and caravans, cooking facilities, sauna by a small lake. A café in an old vicarage serves delicious meals. The place still belongs to the manor Orisberg (Björkenheim), which is still a working farm.
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.