Welcome to Bjärka-Säby Local Heritage Centre.

Orientation map



The centre was founded on the initiative of the estate owner Oscar Ekman.

During the first half of the 1920s he arranged for these very old buildings to be relocated from different farms and crofts around the estate to the site of the heritage centre. The purpose of this was to show the public what a farm would have looked like during the first half of the 19th century.

The project became a success, and this was mostly due to the careful direction of Sigurd Erixon, who was the curator of the Nordic Museum at the time.

Nowadays the centre is cared for by the Wist Local Heritage Society. This organisation was founded in 1976 with the purpose of the repair, restoration and general maintenance of this unusual relic of Swedish rural life.


1, 2,3. You are now at Sandgården



This dwelling was moved here from Sand, a farmstead under the estate of Stavsäter near the north end of the lake Rängen.

The building has a tiled roof and red-coloured walls which appeared in farms at the beginning of the 19th century. Before that the walls were uncoloured and the houses were roofed with living turf.

The windows have been enlarged in recent years. The small windows of the attic facing onto the courtyard have earlier been seated downstairs, and were the only windows of the house.  


To the left you can see "Undantagsstugan", a house intended to house the older generation when the younger took over the responsibility of running the farmstead. Read more below.


To the right you see a building containing a shed and a farmhand's quarters. Read more below.


2. Undantagsstugan



Undantagsstugan (a cottage intended to house the older generation) of Sandgården was moved here from Stora Fallemo. This kind of cottage was used to house the older generation when the younger took over the responsibility of running the farmstead. At times this particular cottage was used for this purpose.

The house is soundly built out of logs with extended corners and has a tiled roof. Besides the dwelling room there is a kitchen and a small attic.

The biggest room has mortar-coated walls with ornate spatter and a panelled ceiling.

Stora Fallemo, from where this cottage is collected, is located 1 km to the southwest of Bjärka-Säby.  

3. Shed and farmhand’s quarters

This Cottage was moved here from Stora Tolemålen. It is composed of a shed and the living quarters for the farmhand.

The farm hand’s accommodation consists of a small beautiful room with mortar coated walls ornamented with colourful stencil patterns. Outside the room there is a hall. 

From the shed there’s a flight of stairs up to the granary attic, where there are partitions for the storage of different kinds of grain.

In the pantry you can find many items where the food was stored. For example you can see a “cheese holder” made of wood where the cheese was moulded. Through hollowing sturdy tree-trunks a so-called “stånnor” was made. In these for example meal and grain were stored.  


4. Food cellar



5. Woodshed (also in the background of the smithy picture)  



Close to the cellar there is a wooden shed. This was used for the storage of firewood among other things. This was a rather primitive construction consisting of a normal roof, saddleback, placed directly on the ground. One of the walls is built of a traditionally bound wooden fence whilst the other is a plank construction. This building originated from Berglundstorpet.  


6. The Smithy



As early as the Middle Ages it was decreed that the smithy should be built isolated from the rest of the buildings because of the risk of fire.

This beautiful house built of logs and roofed with turf was relocated from Gräshorva, which is situated by the road between Vässentorp and Skog.

Besides “smefyrn” with its forge, there are old tools that were needed for household requirements when forging. The bellows were operated by hand with a lever.


7, 8. Stable with sheds for carriages, tools and woodwork



This row of cattle houses consists of a stable from Häradssveden which is situated in the forest near the lake Kolbottensjön.

Here is also a shed for carriages, a tool shed and a shed for carpentry coming from Stora Långnäs.

There is a full set of tools here for woodwork and the making of clogs among other things.

The roofs are thatched with straw from rye, which was the custom of the time. The straw has Vist Local Heritage Society partly reaped and threshed with flails like in the old days, and partly bought from Skåne.


In the foreground you can see the fresh water well. 


9, 10. Threshing barn and cow house from Sadelmakartorp



Just opposite the stable and the tool shed (and perpendicular to the pig sty), this cattle shed with a threshing barn is situated. It was moved here from the  Sadelmakartorp croft.

The cattle shed is narrow and the only light comes from a small aperture with a sliding shutter. To keep the warmth there is also a ceiling. Adjacent to the shed is a store room for cattle fodder.

The threshing barn is of the usual kind from this district, with a narrow room in the middle where the threshing was done. For threshing flails were used, consisting of two sticks connected with eel skin or leather straps.

Here you can also see old pitchforks and spades together with a very primitive tool, “ryst-tjuga”. This was used for turning the threshed straw.  

11. Pigsty


The pigsty was obtained from Mumsmålen.

The house contains two rooms, of which one is older. The younger addition is the one in which logs are not joined into a “cross corner”; instead a corner called “salmon corner” is used.  

12. Hay barn from the Röken croft



A bit outside the cattle shed this hay barn is situated. It’s built of thin logs and the roof is covered with reeds. This hay barn was relocated from the Röken croft.   


13-17. The Löten Croft


                 Cottage and shed, n:o 13,14               Cow house, threshing machine, n:o 15, 16,17


This cottage with shed and cow shed shows us how crofters and farmers lived during the 18th and 19th centuries. The dwelling is built with logs with cross-corners and is seven layers of logs high – making it a seven-layer cottage.

It contains a landing, a dwelling-room with a fireplace, and a small unheated room without a fireplace. The house does not have a ceiling. The so called Sandstugan (n:o 1) further on at the heritage centre is luxurious in comparison.


Vist Local Heritage Society has been forced to paint houses red and cover roofs with tiles. In the 19th century most crofts were unpainted and they were roofed with turf.

Löten was originally seated in the forest between Torpa and Gunnarsbo. There are only small remains of this dwelling.





When digging for a new fertilizer container at Styvinge in July 1999 the water pipes were found.

In the woods at Klockarängen there’s a spring. A pipe runs from this spring to Styvinge cattle house. It was first run around 120 years ago. The distance is 800 metres. The pipes are made of bored pine-trunks, each 8 metres tall with a diameter of 30-40 centimetres. They are sharpened on one and pushed into the other. The ditch was probably dug with wooden-spades. The pipes are bored by hand and are still in very good condition. They were put new into the dug ditch. Afterwards all joints and trunks were covered with blue clay.

Why was this done? Because that in the hay loft above the cattle house was a big wooden basin, and the spring is situated about 10 metres above it, which is why the basin could be filled by self pressure. The water level is adjusted with a wooden plug in the pipe.

For the construction 100 trees, each 8 metres tall were used, and everything was handmade. It’s a masterpiece of building construction, which should be preserved and handed down to posterity. The pipes that were dug are now stored and on display at the Bjärka-Säby Local Heritage Centre.