Two castle ruins and a grave field at lake Roxen

Besides the ruins of Vreta cloister there are a lot of other interesting ruins to been seen around and near lake Roxen in Östergötland. During our trip a few weeks ago we visited two ruins; Stjäntorp castle and the castle ruin of Ål (Eel) and a small grave field.

Stjärnorp castle was built between 1655-1662 by Nicodemus Tessin the elder for Field Marshal Robert Douglas. A fire in 1789 destroyed much of the castle. The chapel was renovated and turned into a church and the wings were restored, obviously the main building wasn’t.

Stärnstorps slott, Östergötland

Stjärnorp castle and church seen from southeast

Stärnstorps slott, Östergötland

The main building seen from south

Stärnstorps slott, Östergötland

The main building seen from southwest

Stärnstorps slott, Östergötland

The main building gate tower seen from west

Stärnstorps kyrka, Östergötland

The church of Stjärnorp seen from south

Just outside the castle is a 3 km long ravine. There are tracks for hiking in the ravine though we didn’t have time to explore it.

This is a nice scenic spot that holds several interesting elements, the castle wings, the church, the ruin and the ravine. The ravine and the park that surrounds the castle is open to the public and if I understood it right so is the church, at least on Sundays.

The castle ruin of Ål (Vånga 3:1) in Vånga parish is from the middle ages, from the 15th century or maybe older. It is situated on a small rock with a great view over lake Roxen. On the pathway to the castle one walks just next to a small and beautiful grave field (Vånga 9:1) from the Iron Age.

Åls slottsruin, Östergötland

The castle ruin seen from southwest

Åls slottsruin, Östergötland

The southwest corner of the castle ruin

Åls slottsruin, Östergötland

The castle ruin seen from the west

Åls slottsruin, Östergötland

A  entrance that was restored in 1995

Åls slottsruin, Östergötland

Åls borgruin

Inside the castle ruin one can see part the room distribution, and at what levels the floors have been at, as seen on the two pictures above.

Picture taken in the north chamber and of the northwest view.

Åls slottsruin, Östergötland

Part of the wall where one can study how it is constructed.

Part of a construction outside to the east of the main building, maybe a wing or the celler to a farm buliding.

If this is a ruin after a castle or not can be discussed, I believe a term such as a fortified manor or farmstead is a better one.

This is a beautiful ruin situated in a beautiful landscape that I feel is well worth a visit. Besides the ruin there a few extra perks; the grave field, oddly enough there is no information sign at the site. It is placed near the waterside just a few hundred meters from the small parking lot. According to the NHB (RAÄ) this  grave field is ca 70 x 60 meters big and holds 26 visible construction, three mounds, 21 round stone settings and one stone circle.

1, Iron Age, gravfält, Östergötland

The grave field seen from north, in the middle of the photo are several stones that makes a stone circle

1, Iron Age, gravfält, Östergötland

On of the three mounds, in the middle is a small crater. The crate is probably not due to plundering but the result of a collapsed construction in the middle of the mound.

1, Iron Age, gravfält, Östergötland

The grave field seen from northeast.

1, Iron Age, gravfält, Östergötland

The grave field seem from the northwest. The pathway to the castle ruins runs on the edge and partly through the gravefield which has caused some damage to a couple of the graves.

As we visited the site I hadn’t really studied the area which made me miss the fact that there is yet another grave field just a few hundred meters south of the ruin (Vånga 10:1). This one is a bit smaller and holds 5 graves. One should always come prepared.

Magnus Reuterdahl

About Magnus Reuterdahl

I am an archaeologist/Osteologist from Sweden. My main intrest lays in north Euorpean archaeology in, preferbly the prehistory of the late iron age and the neolithic periods. I've also got a strong intrest for Chinese archaeology, especially the neolithc Yangshao culture. I also write about cultural heritage and cultural history. Mitt namn är Magnus Reuterdahl, jag är arkeolog och osteolog och arbetar företrädesvis i Sverige även om jag gjort ett par vändor till Kina. På den här bloggen skriver jag om mitt yrke, om fornlämningar, kulturarv och kulturhistoria m m. View all posts by Magnus Reuterdahl

5 responses to “Two castle ruins and a grave field at lake Roxen

  • Nils Möller

    Hej Magnus
    Då jag har en viss anknytning till Grensholm så var det intressant att läsa om Åls borgruin och gravfälten. Du skriver att graven troligen inte är plundrad. Ökar inte det risken att den ska bli det?
    Bilderna var fina men det finns en liten felstavning på sista raden (always).
    Jag vill inte gnälla utan bara hjälpa till.

  • Magnus Reuterdahl

    Hej Nils

    Tack för förr korrläsningen, fel letar sig in då och då, och kul att du gillade inlägget.

    Vad gäller plundring tror, eller hoppas, jag att kunskap och vetskap om lämningarna snarare förhindrar plundring än orsakar dem. De som sysslar med den typen av aktivitet hittar sina områden/lämningar med eller utan hjälp av bloggar och hemsidor. Jag tror att man genom att dela information och kunskap förhoppningsvis kan göra någon mer intresserad och genom detta bli mer uppmärksam på de lämningar som finns i deras omgivning. Ju fler som vet om och uppskattar olika typer av kulturlämningar dessto starkare blir dess skydd.


    Magnus Reuterdahl

  • Simon Ivarsson

    Vad gäller “Stjärntorp”, så heter det väl Stjärnorp idag… IVF har ett litet “Stjäntorp” smugit sig in som extra salt i såret…😉


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