Engelsberg Iron Works (1993)
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Sweden's production of superior grades of iron made it a leader in this field in the 17th and 18th centuries. This site is the best-preserved and most complete example of this type of Swedish ironworks.
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 site 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.
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 eighteenth 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 site 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 site in the 1970s with the aid of the National Heritage Board.
In summer Engelsberg Ironworks is open to the public.
Other World Heritage Sites in Sweden (on this website). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Sweden section, for further information about the individual properties.
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Revised 21 jul 2006