Grängshammars works. Ref. 1
Grängshammar. Ref. 1
Foundries and mines in Bergslagen
Driving MC around Silber ring to Grängshammars works
Bisberg mine, Ostra Silvberg, Ulfshyttan
Text and pictures Björn Bellander. Pics current 2012, 2014

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2017-11-13
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Hammer at Grängshammar works. Ref. 1
Hammer at Grängshammar works. Ref. 1
North road at Grängshammar. Ref. 1
North raod at Grängshammar Works. Ref. 1
Manor house in Grängshammars bruk. Ref. 1
Manor house in  Grängshammar. Ref. 1
Coal yard Grängshammar. Ref. 1

Coal yard. Ref. 1
Vattnet genom smedjan som rinnar till Grängen. Ref. 1

Water of the forger pond water to lake Grängen. Ref. 1
Smeddammens utlopp till vänster mot sjön Grängen. Ref.1

Outlet of the forger pond water into Grängen lake. Ref. 1
Utsikt över smeddammen. Ref. 1

View of the Grängen lakemen. Ref. 1
Översikt över kyrkan byggnad. Ref. 1
Drawing overview over Silvberg church building. Ref. 1
Olfo Forsgren. Ref. 1

Olof Forsgren. Ref. 1
Kyrkans altare. Ref. 1

The churg alter cabinet. Ref. 1
Sankt Nicolai/Örjan från Nicolai kapell. Ref. 1

Saint Örjan wood sculpgure from Nicolai chapel. Ref. 1
Orgelläktaren. Ref. 1

Organ in the church. Ref. 1

Links

Grangshammar

Grangeshyttan

Silverstrale

Olof Forsgren

Horse riding place for Queen Christina

 

 



 

 

Map over Grängshammar. Ref. 1
Tourist map over old Grängshammar. Ref. 1

Grangshammars works
Edited text from info plates.

Grängshammrs works was from the beginning a silver mine which also took care of melting iron, but became later mostly known for having a process for pig iron. The first owner was a man named Ambjörn and he lived in 1500.

Gustav Vasa took the ownership of Granges foundry 1550, but took ove Granges foundry 1550. The profitability was not big enough for the King. His attitude "was not to keep any iron production at Grenges foundry, less than there were silver or copper ore". The foundry was blown out in the beginning of 1600.

At older foundries were  there many farmers and forrest owners. Pig iron were produced during a long time as the most premier export product. Anyway pig iron was only a step on the way for iron productions and profitability raised cinsiderably if it was reworked to plates or bars. Sweden was forced to buy these product as long as it wasn't produced localy. Gustav vasa undserstodd this and he started so called Royal works, among them one in Ludvika.

In order to build up the Swede iron bar production large investments were needed from the owners and they had not enough with money for this.

The new owners, production owners, came from the middle class and adel and the financiers were often european trade establishments. The land farmers lost more or less all influence over the mining activities. During 1600 many small works communities grew around the factories.

All these works were settled in a special pattern for the industrial buildings. Manor house, living houses for iron workers, storing buildings and a church. Often all were built up around one long central road. Experienced black smiths were invited from Germany.

Grangeshyttan was bought 1624 by county governor Petter Kruse. He was a compentent and active man with good feeling for business. He came from the beginning from Lübeck and was a rich man because of  high business profits.

A new intensive time started, one works building was built and three hammers were built. As all these kind of works were self supporting for the people. Therefore there were also big farming, one wooden mill saw and a flour mill. Priviligies were got from government for these production things. Also they got allowance for a foundry 1628

The products were mainly simple steel plate production. Foundries were built at Brafall, Ulfshyttan and Norshyttan.

Granges works now gets the name Grangshammar. During Kruse's lead Queen Christina visited this place, it can today be notified by the riding place which was set up for her amusement. It is placed in the manor park. There is also a small cabana built on an island.

From the end of 1600 to the begining of 1800 the works works were owned by heritage Silverstråle. During this time there were 2 tilthammers and 4 hot-beds. The Silverstråle family also built a big manor inculing head house and two wings and also a park around.

Grangshammer has one of the most beautifull works environments which consist of stylistisc pure buildings built by gleaming chrushed slag.

"At Grangshammar works there are some exclusive realized area drawings. The very clean condition which this place performed show it's beauty and in the same time it's liveliness. This is shown at the larger works". This is the description by the traveller Sebastian von Unge when he visited Dalarna 1826.

What we see today are primarly the evidence from the last good time in during 1800. The activities was at his time led by the capable Olof Forsgren, who built the very special and decorative coal yard. This can still be seen.

This heydays started 1817 when a new company took over the lead. The work was led by the capable Captain Mechanicus Nils Olof Forsgren. More about this man and his special way of building handsome houses can be read on a sign board in the church of Silvberg

The old tilt smith building was rebuilt. New previlegiums were given for a nail hammer and also an other type of black smith works, built upside the water stream. This work produced square iron bars, 7 in each packet. 1834 a new coal house was built. Also other types of houses were built such as store buildings, living houses for black smiths, a fluor barn 1849 and the new church 1834.

In order to make it easier to transport pig iron from Ulfshyttan to Grangshammar Forsgren started to build a channel with two floodgates betrween pond lake and large Ulf lake. All was digged out by hand.The barges could take 50 pounds which is 9.7 ton. Furthermore a new road was built between Grangshammar and the Bond foundry to be used for transports to harbour in Smedjebacken.

1855 during the last years of Forsgren lead in Grangshammarthe production was 714 tons of bar iron. This is a large production using only handicraft methods.

Hard times came 1860 for the smal iron works. A new method using rolling mills started to be used. 1877 the iron bar production was ceased.

1887 a new company was established which took over Grangshammr production. This was Ulfshytte Iron works. All production were moved to Ulfshyttan.

Grängshammars kyrka från 1834. Ref. 1
Silvbergs/Grängshammars kyrka från 1834. Ref. 1

Silvbergs church
Edited text from info plates.

Silvberg church is beautiful built on the highest point at a leafy height near the bank of Grangen lake. This original octagone church was ready built 1834 and replace Saint Nicolai chapel at the Middle Ages mine chapel at Eastern Silvberg which was teared down 1854.

Through Olof Forsgren Grangshammars works donated 1829 the place "Frukullen" to be used for the new church. Forsgren was very much involved during church building.

The drawings of the church were made by architect S Enander. For material to build was scum from the local foundry used, but also even ordinary brick. For divergence of other buildings by Forsgren the wall are here fully covered by plaster.

Several furnishings from the Middle Ages Chapel are moved to this new church. To be mentioned Triumph crucifix and wooden sculpture showing Saint Örjan from 1400, baptismal font from 1500, lamp from 1600 and chasubles from which the oldest is from 1400 and 1500.

The church silver is from 1700, in spite of silver had been mined in Eastern Silvberg already during 1400. 

All Church silver which from the beginning was left in the mine owners old chapel was confiscated by Gustav Vasa. Because of this the chapel had to use vessels made of tin for the Holy Communion. This fate had to be shared with many other churches i Sweden.

The existing "Little-Clock" casted by Hans Bierman, also comes from Nicolai Chapel, where it was used in a newly built belfry 1683.

The sound from this clock was supposed in ancient time have magical characteristics. This sound could free people from troll and all big forrest dangerous genius. This believe may be gave some security feelings for workers in mines of the Old Silvberg.

Read more about Eastern Silvberg and Nicolai Chapel.

Note. The word "knapare" is the name for Low Adel. Many things can be seen at Dalana Museum Falun.


Forsgrens slagghus i Grängshammar. Ref. 1
Preserved shortside of the coal yard built by Ofof Forsgren. Ref. 1
Olof Forsgrens coal house built by slag
Edited text from info plates

Captain Mechanicus Olof Forsgren was the capable man who led the activities at Grangshammar works during it's last high time between the years of 1817 and 1855.

Olof Forsgren was born on the 30th of January 1774 at Öhrn worsk in the county of Uppland. He early showed considerble talents according buildings and mechanical constructions.

This was notified and luckily supported by existing county governor in Kopparberg, Johan af Nordin. This happened during a 10 years employment, when Forsgren worked as a clerk at Forsbacka works in Gästrike county. Forsgren was encouraged and he became a well-known building engineer over whole of Bergslagen.

When Olof Forsgren arrived at Grangshammer the production facilities were in very bad condition. Her Forsgren could realize his dream to build up a new work accoring his own ideas.

The totally out of date work buildings were continously replaced by his characteristic building design with chrushed slag which was the special mark of Forsgren.

Slag is a rest product which come up when melting metal from ore. Most common is slag from iron production in a foundry. At this process iron and slag are separated and taken care of in floating condition from the owen. The iron is puring into forms and become pig iron.

Most often the slag was just let to float on the earth floor and there cool down and stiffen. Then it is chrushed and taken out in a storing place. This chrushed slag is the material to use in the Forsgren's houses.

Floating slag can also float into forms and be casted into various forms, most common as bricks. They were used i buildings just as with ordinary clay bricks.

Slag was used when building living houses, factories and much common for foundries.

Slag use became typical for buildings in Bergslagen in the last part of 1700, but the idéa to use slag was primarly taken from England and Germany.

Wooden coal,  firewood for use down in the mines and timber for different constructions was an important material and a hard consumption in the woods of Bergslagen. It was important to find an altrnative material, furthermore this material is flameproof.

The special design of Forsgren's houses was that he let the walls be unprocessed. In this way the liveness green slag vividness could be seen. In Grangshammar there are exampels for this, in the so called work barn built 1849. This show that Forsgren was not even an industrialist also an architect with the wish to build handsome communities.

The slag which was used had varying quality.  The foundry slag was enamal glossy and had various color in blue, grey, turquoise and most common in green graduation. Furthermore it consist partly of rostbrown iron and small pieces of coal. This will give the walls a livefull and alternate character.

Characteristic for Forsgren design that his houses were decoreated by white plaster bands around windows and doors, in all corners, at edges of roof and also field devisions. In the edges of the building we also can see planks with Falu red color or decorative red clay bricks.

Inmodern time the manufacturing of iron is completely changed and this type of slag doesn't occur as a rest product any more. Any material to renovate our old houses build with this slag is not available.

Therefore we must take care of our inheritance. The nice buildings which are left, which strongly show our frugality, when we used our close avalable material which now have given us something lasting, good looking, tastefull and  atractive for many generations.



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Reference 1: © Björn Bellander bjorn.bellander(at)telia.com
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