Engelsberg Ironworks in Västmanland was constructed in 1681 and developed into one of the world's most modern ironworks in the period 1700-1800. The property comprises the mansion and park, works offices, workers' homes, and industrial buildings. Engelsberg is the only ironworks in Sweden that still preserves the buildings and most of the technical equipment. Engelsberg Ironworks was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1993.
Iron production at Engelsberg goes back to the Middle Ages, when mine-owning farmers achieved efficiency in the use of the natural riches of the Bergslagen area. It was in the 18th century, however, that Engelsberg could definitely be ranked among the most important ironworks in Sweden and Europe. The works, which was ultramodern for its time, extracted and worked iron. The ore came from the Bergslagen mines, while the charcoal, which was crucial for heating the material, came from nearby forests.
Engelsberg Ironworks eventually consisted of about fifty different buildings. Besides the log-insulated smelting house and the hammer forge there is also a weighing house where the charcoal and ore were weighed. In the day workers' building, or the "inn" as it was also called, those who worked by the day could buy spirits and find accommodation. In 1917 a Lancashire forge with a rolling mill was built. The property also comprises two works offices, the gardener's house, slagstone towers, the grain store, workers' housing, and the byre. Engelsberg Ironworks is largely preserved as it looked after the last rebuilding in 1870. Particularly unique features are the blast furnace and the forge where the waterwheel, crusher, blower, and hammer still work.
For most of the eighteenth century Engelsberg Ironworks was owned by the Söderhielm family and in the nineteenth century by the Timm family. The works was sold in 1916 to Consul General Axel Ax:son Johnson, who put it under the administration of Avesta Ironworks. Three years later operations ceased. Engelsberg Ironworks is now owned by Nordstjernan AB, who restored the property in the 1970s with the aid of the National Heritage Board. In summer Engelsberg Ironworks is open to the public.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. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.