Semla old Ironworks. Remains from 1580.
Self-guided tour. Well signposted.
Tourist office +46 (0)223-131 00.
Information: Fagersta tourism.
The beautiful countryside in the Semla district is also home to the highest lock on the Strömsholm canal. But this used to be a busy mining area and a large ironworks, with the earliest mines dating back to the 14th century.
The Semla mine is mentioned in records dating back to 1580, but its golden era was in the 18th century. At that time there were three furnaces and two forge hammers. The operation was moved to the Fagersta works in 1861. The ruins of one of the forge hammers can still be seen here, and a slag heap bears witness to there having been a smelting house here.
The manor house burnt down in 1890, but Rättarbacken and the head gardener’s cottage are still here.
The biggest change occurred with the opening of the Strömsholm canal. The locks at Semla were the first to be built on the canal and the smelting works had to be demolished to make way for them. When the canal was rebuilt in the mid-1800s, it was moved further west and the old locks were abandoned.
The cut for the old canal can be studied on the man-made island between the river and the canal. Two lock-keeper homes have been preserved, and there are two power stations on the river, the oldest dating from c.1900.
The soil in the area is rich in limestone and there is an abundance of deciduous forest. A trail for walkers along the canal is well signposted.