Early industrial plant near Grimslöv
Not far from Grimslöv in the southern half of the municipality Alvesta Kommun in Småland, there is a fully preserved early industrial settlement from the middle of the 19th century around the former ironworks Huseby Bruk.
Huseby Bruk is located by the river Helige å, quite exactly in the middle between the two lakes Salen and Åsnen. The ironworks was founded as early as 1629, and until 1930 it smelted the swamp ore from the surrounding lakes into pig iron. The associated foundry started production in the 1630s with the manufacture of cannons and cast-iron furnaces and was still in operation until the 1950s.
In the course of time, Huseby Bruk grew into a large estate through the construction of further workshops, residential buildings, a merchant's shop and a manor house similar to a castle, as well as the purchase of extensive grounds. Since 1982 Huseby Bruk, whose appearance has hardly changed since the turn of the century, has been administered by the Swedish state.
Since then, Huseby Bruk has developed into a very popular tourist attraction in southern Småland, offering the unique opportunity to visit an intact early industrial site from the turn of the century. In addition, various exhibitions and fairs are part of the annual accompanying programme, most notably the Christmas market for handicrafts Huseby Jul, which attracts over 30,000 visitors every year in the first half of November, making it the most visited market of its kind in Sweden.
Water mill, smelting works and manor house
The road from the car park to the Huseby Bruk site first leads through the so-called Bruksgatan, past the former dwellings that one of the former owners had built for his permanent employees in the 19th century. There you will also find the Brukshandel, a historically furnished merchant's shop, which invites you not only to look at but also to buy all kinds of nostalgically inspired products.
Before you pass the bridge over the Helige å, you will come across a large water mill with four powerful water wheels. Inside the mill there are five grinding-stones, where the grain from the Huseby Bruk lands used to be ground and which are still used on special occasions. A little further along on the left side of the road is the old smithy, which houses the tourist information and a kind of museum shop offering a wide range of products from typical souvenirs to handicrafts, books and plants.
The nucleus of Huseby Bruk, the old ironworks with the historic blast furnace and the mechanical workshop are just opposite on the right side of the path. In the old furnace hall, a permanent exhibition shows a large number of furnace plates from the earlier production of the cast-iron furnaces. In the adjacent former foundry hall, another permanent exhibition tells the history of Huseby Bruk in great detail, while the rest of the hall is used for temporary exhibitions.
The next turnoff leads through an avenue past the former horse stables, which have been converted into a restaurant, to the manor house, which resembles a castle. The two-storey building with its approximately 20 rooms dates from the middle of the 19th century and is still furnished in the original style from the turn of the century down to the smallest detail. Adjacent to the manor house there is a small park with a large kitchen garden in which all kinds of herbs and vegetables are cultivated according to historical methods. At the south-eastern end of the garden there is also a cozy café, in good weather also with outdoor service.
Other buildings and museums in Huseby Bruk
Some of the historic buildings on the grounds of Huseby Bruk house various museums. In the house of the former master sawyer there is the so-called Statarmuseet, which shows both the living conditions of the farm workers employed at Huseby in the 1930s and a fully furnished apartment in the style of the 1950s.
The opposite sawmill with gang saw and circular saw dates from the 1940s and was the most modern plant in Northern Europe at that time. In the adjacent building there is a small hydroelectric power station with the Elmuseum, where old switchgear and a large selection of historical electrical equipment from the time of electrification to the present day are on display.
The Naturum Kronoberg is located in the former granary at the end of the site. Here, on the edge of the nature reserve Husebymaden, the Naturum tells the story of the development of landscape, flora and fauna in the province of Kronobergs Län from the Ice Age to the present day in a very vivid way over an area of around 300 square metres spread over two floors.
More information about Huseby Bruk
The grounds of Huseby Bruk are accessible all year round. The buildings are only open during the stated opening hours from May to September. The site is not completely barrier-free. Only some of the buildings are accessible for wheelchairs, walkers and prams. It is not possible to visit the manor house, the Statarmuseet, the Elmuseum at the power station and the sawmill with wheelchairs, walkers and prams. Wheelchair accessible toilets are located at the visitor information in the old smithy and in the garden café.
Dogs may be kept on a leash on the premises and, with the exception of the manor house and the restaurant, may also be brought into the buildings. However, dogs are welcome in the outside area of the restaurant.
Huseby Bruk: Opening hours & admission
Saturday – Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00
Monday – Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00
Saturday – Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00
Last update: 04/2020 | Errors and omissions excepted.