Granbyhällen (U 337)

Granbyhällen U337 rune stone
1940: Granbyhällen U337. Photo: Harald Faith-Ell / Riksantikvarieämbetet

Granbyhällens runic carving 4 miles north of Stockholm in Orkesta parish, Uppland, is the largest in the country and covers about ten square meters of the smooth gray stone surface.

Granbyhällens carving is from the middle of the 11th century, when the carver Visäte was active. The cairn is carved in memory of a father, a mother and a few other people. With almost 200 runes, the inscription is the second longest in Uppland after U 29.

Granbyhällen
1927: Archaeologists fill in the carvings. Photo: Berit Wallenberg / Swedish National Heritage Board

Translation of the runic script

Runsvenska: hemik + uk + sialfi + uk + iohan + þeiR + lata hakua + eftR + faþur sin + finuiþ + uk + uarkas × uk × rahnfriþ + uk moþur sina + uk + at + ikikerþi + uk + at + kalf + uk + kiarþar + u- ...-at + (h)an ati ' ein × alt fyrst × þat × uaru × freantr þeia + koþ : hialbi + ant þaira + uiseti + risti × runa þisa

Normalized: Hæming[R] ok Sialƒi ok Iohan þœiR lata haggva œƒtiR faður sinn Finnviƒ, ok Vargas(?) ok Ragnƒrið[r], ok moður sina, ok at Ingigœrði ok at Kalf ok Gærƒar o[k) .. . He ate everything first. Þat vaRu frœndr þœi[R)a. God hialpi and þœiRa. Viseti risti runa[R] þessa[R]

Nusvenska: Häming and Själve and Johan they cut after his father Finnvid, and Vargas and Ragnfrid, and [after] his mother, and after Ingegärd and after Kalv and Gärdar and ... He alone owned everything first. It was their kinsmen. God help their spirit. Visäte carved these runes.

Five to seven runes have been lost in an injury near the front foot of the round bull. The expression "he alone owned everything first" may mean that the farm, which had been Finnvid's father's so-called odal and the land of the giant, has been divided among the sons. Kalv and Ragnfrid are also mentioned on other rune stones in the Granby area.

Granbyhällen
Photo: Bengt A Lundberg, 1990-03-19, Riksantikvarieämbetet (CC BY)

Granby, where the rune stone heap is located, is considered by archaeologists to have been a Viking Age storm troopers' farm, and the village is said to have had four other rune stones that have now been moved. Numerous finds from the Viking Age have been found at the site, including coins from England and Germany, a belt buckle and many house foundations. A total of twelve rune stones have been found in the parish of Orkesta. Looking further back, there are also no fewer than 38 Iron Age burial sites.

Getting there

Coordinates: Latitude 59.59520215923642 | Longitude 18.09926748275757

Discover more interesting places to visit at History map.

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