The Färna ironworks, distinguished heritage with beautiful park
Self-guided tour in the area,
famous mausoleum in the park.
Theme park for children.
Manor shop +46 (0)222-281 81 open in summer Tue, Thurs, Sat 11-17, Sun 11-16.
Färna Manor hotel +46 (0)222-281 90, accommodation and food, but closed three weeks in July. Tourist office +46 (0)450 45.
Information: Skinnskatteberg tourism.
Färna has been occupied at least as far back as the mid-1500s. The ironworks had a humble start in 1607, with just one forge hammer and two furnaces. It was initially owned by the Crown, but it was during the 1630s that the works really started to thrive, thanks to the efforts of a powerful woman, Edla Widiksdotter. Between 1692 and 1789 the operation was run by Claes Wilkens, together with his heirs and other members of the family. It is worth mentioning Jacob Ramsell, a young and able book-keeper employed by Wilkens. He came from a poor family and, against all the rules—and the odds—succeeded in marrying the boss’s daughter, later to take over as the boss himself.
At this time, Färna was restructured and took the form of a fideicommisum—which, in laymen’s terms, roughly means that the estate was bequeathed in the form of a trust. The area of the estate and works made it the largest in the land.
However, in the early 19th century, after a long legal battle, the estate was transferred into the ownership of Count Carl Johan von Hermansson, who was a member of the Diet of Estates, a form of legislative council. He gained notoriety through his proposal that the old and the infirm, who were no longer able to labour in the works, should be put to death. Anecdotal evidence states that the smiths who worked in the forge at Färna were so incensed that they forged an iron collar around the Count’s throat—which was the reason that he always seen wearing a ruff, thereafter.
In 1857, Count Carl Johan von Hermansson had the house totally refurbished, creating the splendid building that it is today.
The output at Färna in the early days largely consisted of bar iron, which was refined into products such as anchors, roofing material, cast stone, nails, etc. In addition to farming and forestry that was practised on the estate, other features that have been unearthed include a flour mill, a sawmill and a brickworks.
In 1904, the Count’s son, Carl Fredrik, commissioned an architect, professor Lars Israel Wahlman, to erect an unusual slagstone mausoleum in the meadow south of the house. Situated between the mausoleum and the main building is a summerhouse decorated with beautiful murals and paintings.
In 1907, the fideicommisum trust was wound up and in the 1920s the ironworks was shut down. All that remains of the old works is the foundations. The manor house is now a hotel, with conference room and spa. The line of buildings running through to the back of the hotel include an estate shop, and an Ecomuseum theme park for children. In the shop, which is open all the year round, you will find clothing, furniture, handicrafts, gifts and souvenirs. If you happen to be in the area in the run-up to Christmas, do visit the estate’s Christmas Market.