The oldest part of the Stemkumla church is the tower. It was erected at the beginning of the 13th century. Originally it was attached to a Romanesque church dating from the 12th century, but this was replaced with the current church in stages. The choir thus dates from the middle of the 13th century, while the nave of the church was built at the beginning of the 14th century. The church has remained largely unaltered since the Middle Ages.
The almost square nave is supported by a single central pillar. The walls are decorated with church frescos from the 15th century, made by the so-called Master of the Passion of Christ. The frescos depict the Passion of Christ in one set, and another depicts four female saints, probably Saint Bridget, Saint Elizabeth, Saint Barbara, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret The windows of the nave contain fragments of the original stained glass window panes, as do the windows of the choir. There is another set of frescos in the choir, dating from the 13th century. They depict Saint Lawrence, Saint Peter, Saint Bartholomew and Saint Paul. The choir also contains a wooden tabernacle, dated to the 14th century. Under the chancel arch between the choir and nave, a triumphal cross from the late 12th century is placed; it has been described as the finest piece of art in the church. It was made for the earlier, Romanesque church. It depicts Christ nailed to the cross only through his hands; the feet hang free and in fact are covered with shoes. Other church fittings are from the post-Reformation era, such as the sandstone altarpiece, made in 1681. The pulpit is from the middle of the 17th century and the baptismal font from the 18th century. The church also contains two runestones, dating from the 11th century.
The church cemetery contains the grave of Konrad Petterson Lundqvist Tector, a robber and murderer who was beheaded outside the church on 18 May 1876.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.