A Short History
Iron has been made in Lövstabruk since the 1500’s, at that time by farmers. Here there was forest, water-power for mills, and in Dannemora, 30 kilometres from Lövstabruk, one could extract ore of the highest quality.
By the end of the century Lövstabruk was established as a kronobruk or ‘royal iron works’. The works were leased in 1626-27 to Willem de Besche and Louis de Geer, merchants from the Netherlands. In 1643 Louis de Geer bought the works and moved to Sweden. Under De Geer’s ownership Lövstabruk grew to become Sweden’s largest iron works. Here wrought iron was milled and exported to Sheffield in England among other destinations. The workers, who came from Wallonia in present day Belgium, were offered free schooling for their children, free health care and free accomodation.
In 1719 most of the buildings were burnt down. The owner at this time, Charles de Geer, rebuilt the works following the same pattern as previously. The manor house and wings were also rebuilt, this time in stone but in the same style as the burnt Carolingian wooden manor house. The grounds kept the same layout as they had in the 1600’s. The majority of the preserved buildings date from this rebuild among them the workers houses, the church, the offices and the manager’s residence. The mighty organ is to be found in the works church and was constructed by Johan Niclas Cahman. Unfortunately none of the industrial buildings are preserved. The Walloon iron mill by the mill-pond’s northern end was demolished shortly after the works were closed in 1926. The only preserved Walloon iron mill in the world can be seen in Österbybruk.
In 1730 Lövstabruk became an entailed estate and was owned by the De Geer family until 1986 when a trust, ‘Stiftelsen Leufsta’, was created from Uppsala county goverment, the Uppsala University library, Tierp council, Uppsala county council and the De Geer family.
Today the trust organises paying visits to the manor house and several other buildings. The National Property Board of Sweden (Statens Fastighetsverk) has maintained the buildings since 1997.