Amneholm

Amneholm in spring. Photo: Amnehärads Hembygdsförening

Amneholm castle was once located on a small, round, alder-covered islet at the mouth of the Gullspång river in Amnehärad parish in Västergötland. In medieval sources Amneholm is also mentioned as Agneholm or Affnaholm, also Agnaholm and Aneholmen.

The castle, which was built of wood, is said to have very old origins. It was built in the 1360s by the Martian Erik Kettilsson Puke during the war between the Norwegian King Hakon and King Albrecht of Mecklenburg. Nowadays, Amneholm, which is now part of the Gullspångsälven nature reserve, can be reached via a number of bridges, whereas in the past it was difficult to reach and only accessible at low tide.

According to Historical-geographical and statistical dictionary of Sweden (1859) the castle was named after a king Agne:

"A king Agne shall give his name to the fortress, as well as to Amne- or Agnehärad. During Queen Margaret's time, the castle was notorious as the seat of Danish bailiffs, who tormented the local people in the most inhuman way."

The same dictionary describes how the bailiff's castle was burned down in 1433 by a Värmland peasant army under the command of the knight Peder Ulfsson (Roos), on the orders of Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson under Engelbrektsupproret. In 1434, under the same command, the bailiwicks were also taken and destroyed. Dalaborg in Dalsland and Edsholm in Värmland.

Amneholm

At the time of the Engelbrekt Rebellion, the castle is said to have been housed by Otto Torbjörnsson Stut, a Danish bailiff. The legend of the plague in the Gullmarsälven tells how this bailiff was so cruel that he put peasants who refused to be incubated on two large stones in the rapids, where they had to sit for several days through cold and hunger, contemplating their rebelliousness against the authorities.

Nowadays there is not much left to see of the mount. Notes from the National Heritage Board says that the site was 60×40 meters and that it is now an overgrown mound, about 2-3 meters, possibly with a depression in the middle part of about 30×4 m and 0.5-1 m deep. One can only guess where it was. No more detailed archaeological investigation has been carried out.

Curiosity: the commander Peder Ulfsson was the brother-in-law of the notorious royal bailiff Jösse Eriksson, who was beheaded by the commoners of Aska Härad, Östergötland, in 1436 during the Engelbrektsfejden.

Print sources

Historical-geographical and statistical dictionary of Sweden, First Volume (1859)

Kämpe, Alfred, The struggle for freedom of the Swedish Ommogens, first volume (1918), s 45.

Nordic Family Book, 19th century edition, p 267 (1876)

Other sources:

Knight, Councillor Peter (Ulfsson) Roos of Ervalla

Getting there

Coordinates: Latitude 59.01650300000001 | Longitude 14.085505300000023

Discover more interesting places to visit at History map.

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