A historic place
Öijared manor dates back to the 16th century, and history has left its mark on the surroundings. You’ll find the remains of stone burial chambers, ancient fields and stone circles, around thirty small 18th century crofts, grazing land and old cattle paths.
The manor buildings consist of a simple 17th century mansion, two wings, stables, agricultural buildings and the farm chapel at the end of the avenue. The farm buildings are in a lovely setting on the shore of Lake Mjörn, surrounded by pastures for grazing. The farm’s history can be traced all the way back to the late medieval period, in the time of King Stenkil (around 1065 AD).
The estate owners then were the Pik family, and it was called Pikenborg. In the middle of the 16th century the Ulfsparre family owned the estate, and it was in their possession for almost 150 years. In the early 1700s one of King Karl XII’s general’s, Baron Georg Reinhold Pattkull took over the estate, but soon sold it to Sebastian Tham, a Board of Trade director from Gothenburg. Some of the buildings burnt down in 1749, leading to the restoration of the manor house and those agricultural buildings that were still in use.
Öijared Manor became, through marriage, a fideicommissum in the early 19th century. This meant that the old law about the estate’s statutory succession to the eldest son, only ceased when the last fideicommissum lapsed, which happened when Sten-Gustav Adelskiöld Adelstierna’s widow Ulla died childless in 1985. Only then according to Swedish Law, could Öijared Manor be passed on to someone other than the relatives of the previous owner, making the acquisition of the estate by a ‘commoner’ finally possible after almost 350 years of being owned by nobility.
That meant that in the 1980s a new family could move in to Öijared, when the Brandström family bought the estate. They soon wanted to make changes to the land and surroundings. They have carefully restored Öijared, and as well as the conservation work, forestry and hunting are carried out on the estate. There is also a strong commitment to creating opportunities for universities, businesses and public bodies to contribute to knowledge sharing about the relationship between nature, culture and health.
A cultural gem
On the chapel hill near the manor a little wooden chapel was built in the 1500s. It stood there for almost one hundred years. Towards the ends of the 17th century it was moved from the hill, where it stands today, to a place nearer the main building, as a wing.
The chapel was moved back to its original position on the hill in the 1700s, probably during Major General Claes-Reinhold Patkull’s time. Beautiful early and mid 18th century oil paintings adorn the walls and furnishings.
Carin Bielke (1599 – 1695)was the daughter of Councillor of the Realm Clas Bielke, who in 1623 married into the Ulfsparre family and moved to Öijared, which she received as a gift from her new husband. After her husband as well as their seven children died she stitched an hourglass shaped tapestry, “Sorgekalk” (literally The Cup of Sorrow), a short description of her fate, which became very popular and was printed in several editions during the 18th and 19th centuries. Carin spent a lot of time and money helping her relatives and workers on the farm. She even started a school for her worker’s children. When she was 63 she married Harald Stake, who was the governor of the Bohus Fortress. She survived him as well, and after his death lived another 18 years before she herself died.
Carin Bielke’s little private room is the right at the front of the chapel which she once had built. On the seat can be found her coat of arms and the date, 1631.
In the Manor
On the second floor of the manor lies the Gubb-salen (literally the Old Man’s Room), so called because all the family portraits used to hang there. During Sten-Gustaf’s time the old 19th century wallpaper was removed and the original timber walls with their lovely paintings were uncovered.
The floor consists of large, rough hewn planks and the doors still have their original fittings. There’s a little knotted rug on the floor with the same design as the wall paintings. The fixtures include, amongst other things, a pull out bed from the 1700s.
These are where the crofters lived, who ran small allotments and carried out the day to day work for the landowner. They made use of the forest and lakes for berries, mushrooms and fish. Today around 30 crofts from the 18th and 19th century remain, which are now mostly summer houses, still heritage areas, with pastures, dry stone walled cattle paths and sacred trees.
Historical boundaries have been partially changed over the years alongside the ownership of the estate. Land combined through marriage in the 17th century created extensive grounds that stretched all the way to Lödöse when Carin Bielke got married to Harald Stake.