Våra mc:s under tiden. Ref. 1
How to go there. Ref.1 
Foundries and mines in Bergslagen
With MC around Silverring to Bispberg mine
Grangshammars bruk, Ostra Silvberg, Ulfshyttan

Text and pictures Björn Bellander. Pics current 2012, 2014

Back  Swedish version
since 060105
© Björn Bellander


Angelsbergs foundry
Ags foundry
Bispbergs mine
Bjorndammens foundry
Flatenbergs foundry
Flogbergets mine
Grangshammars works
Klenshyttan foundry
Korsans works
Mellings ruin
Moss mine
Norns foundry
Ohs works
Ostra Silvberg mine
Sala Silver mine
Sura works museum
Skottvangs mine
Ulfs foundryhyttan
Vintjarns mine

Akers Styckebruk
Roda Jorden
Loa hytta
Nora veteran jvg
Falu koppargruva
Hillänget Ludvika
Riddarhyttan koppar
Ramnäs valsverk
Kratte masugn
Mojsen Grangesberg

Map over Bispberg mine. Ref. 1
Map over Bispberg mine area. Ref. 1
Hoist schackt in the pit main building. Ref. 1
Hoist schackt opening. Ref. 1
Old powder house. Ref. 1

Old powder house. Ref. 1
Branddam i närheten av gruvkontoret. Ref. 1

Fire basin aside mine office. Ref. 1
Gruvrester. Ref. 1

Rests of mine parts. Ref. 1
Gruvvatten pumpad ur gruvan. Ref. 1

Place for water from the mine. gruvan. Ref. 1
Tvärsnitt av gruvan. Ref. 1
Cross section of the mine. Ref. 1

You Tube

Gustav Vasa pit head building over great mine. Ref. 1 Pit head building over the Vasa shaft. Ref. 1

Bispbergs mine.
Edited text from info plates
Page 1

Bispberg with ancestry from Middle Ages is one of the best preserved  environments in mine areas in Sweden. Here ore has been broken for near 700 years.

What we see today is a good respresentation for life in a small mine community at the end of 1900th century. Most buildings, the magnificent pithead building over the Vasa pit shaft from 1889, steam engine house, the winch house, powder house, forge manor house with mine office, and the stores and out buildings that were build during 1900th century.

The great mine in it's present appearance, through the serious landslide 1674, was not active after that for 20 years. The mining village, where the labor lived, is a pleasant cluster of houses with winding streets on the collapse of the actual mining area.

The Swedish crown has owned a share of the mine, as mining-farmers, works owners and finally Bispbergs AB, a company which ran the mine from 1876 until it's closure in 1967.

Mining was carried on in older times with hard terms. It is difficult to get labor for this dangerous work. Already in the 1400th century it was written in the previlege letter from the crown that criminals which had less serious crimes could go free as long as they worked in mines owned by the crown, such as copper-, silver- or a larger iron mines. Even women and children were allowed to work in the mines.
Gruvkontoret. Ref. 1 Mining office. Ref. 1
Several big and serious collapses happened here in Bispberg. These were caused partly by the quality of the rock and old time technic of breaking the rock. There were many sub owners and breaking was always carried on in several places at the same time. The ore body could by time look like a Swiss hollow cheese, through all those unnotified mining walk places and shafts. The collapse danger was always present.

Old time mining workers were full of superstitions. Important was to keep good relations with overnatural powers, heavenly and underground. Psalm sounds were heard and a special mining plea was prayed in all communities where mining was carried on.

"Beware o, merciful God, those who in underground hollows and mines are working and there searching the life's ways of means in great dangerous ...."

The mistress of the mountain was named Mount wife, who demanded honour and respect. She payed with warnings for collapses and often very much true threatening, clickings and rumbles when the the rock was moving.

The rock was broken by fire settings until up to 1800th century, when powder started to be used. Fire setting was made whith that meter long timber were raised against rock faces and then set on fire. The rock became brittle and large pieses could be broken loose. With this method 10 cm depth of rock could be broken.

Large amount of timber were used in the mines, wooden coal was used in foundries where the ore was melted.In Bispberg there was one foundry but it was laid down 1624. All forrest around mines were used for this. For this reason strong regulations were set for this activity by Rock collegium.

Labour, tools, and wood had to be hoisted up and down from the mine hollows. Ore and water must be hoisted up. These activities were made by using special hoisting technic by winches which mostly were turned by hand, oxen or horses. There was a special expression shouted in the schaft, when hoisting could be started. This expression has stayed in swedish today as "kör i vind" (start hoisting). This was the workers clear sign to get the horses start working.
It was also very important to open up for fresh air down into the pit circulation shaft and also get rid of all dangerous smoke from all fire settings.

In order to get a more effectiv water pumping in the pit, so called flat rod systems were constructed and built 1609 and power was taken from Ljuster river at Sördal water fall near by. This was rebuilt 1698 by the famous engineer Christoffer Polhem. This flat rod gave the move for hoisting of ore and water in the pit and was in use up to 1921. The big water wheel had a diameter of 8,4 m is now reconstructed.
Säterdalen med ljusterån. Ref. 1 Map over Sater valley with Polhem flat rod system and the mine. Ref. 1
Still about 1920 could those who were walking around in the beautifull valley of Sater could  hear the squeaking and groaning sound from this wonder. It is easy to understand this which went on day and night for years, without help from hands of human beeing.

Gruvan efter raset 1889. Ref. 1
The water filled hole after the great mine landslide 1674. Ref. 1

Page 2
The flat rod system took care of water and iron hoisting from the pit 2.5 km away. This show a good construction which was efficient. It could be used long time after that the electricity had made victory through the world.

1674 a huge collapse happened and the mine was left unused for 20 years. The Crown abandon the dangerous mine and sold their share to patron Johan Angerstein at Vikmanshyttan and county governor Nils Gripenhjelm. These two men performed very precise instructions for their mine sheriff. These were to be followed when the Great Mine was started after the slide and abandon for 20 years 1678. Note that all bigger Middle Ages mines in Sweden have been vulerable for serious collapses.

Every morning at 06.00 PM all workers must gather in the mine cottage to hold a short time of prayer. From this time work went on till 06.00 AM. During the daytime a half hour eating/rest was allowed. Prayer and thanks- giving were held in the evening. To compare in Falun the labor got no free hour, instead they had to eat their carried food when there were time.

The sheriff  had to look after the fire settings and approve them, that not to much timber were used. He had also to control that the pit roof was thoroughly been cleaned to avoid dropping stones. There were very strict rules and punishments about handling fire.

The flat rod system, ladders and other carrying wooden constructions in the mine must be protected carefully. Smoke gases were dangerous. It is mentioned in a report that a horse died of this cause. From this it is notified that horses were used to work in the mine. During the 1800th century it is told about many deadly accidents with a number of 16.

The heydays for the mine was during the last half of 1800, and also in the beginning of 1900. During this last time the production was highest. 30000 tons of ore were taken up every year. The iron from Bispberg was known for it's purity and good quality. The procent halt of iron in the ore was between 60 and 68 %.

The work in the mine ceased 1967, when mining had reached  down to the level of 810 meters. The reason was not lack of ore, instead the technic to hoist ore from this depth made it not profitable to bring it to surface level.

One old local tale says that bigger ore amount is to be found. The calf has been milked, but the cow still is waiting down there.

Well who knows. Anyway the calf has for several hundred of years given much ore of good and even quality.

Note there are no guided tours at Bisberg and the mine has no guidance. This make Sala Silver mine much more interesting.

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Hannover air museum
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Robot Museum Sweden
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Panzeranzer museum
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Svedino car & airplane
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Pictures from the following owners have been used in bjorns-story.se with the apropriate permission:
Reference 1: © Björn Bellander bjorn.bellander(at)telia.com
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