The forgotten villages: Äskhults By

From the main road, a few kilometers along the small country road, past meadows and fields, then turn and the narrow road up into the forest – somewhere behind it is yourself, the old and almost forgotten farming village Äskults By.

We have said goodbye to our relatives in Kungsbacka, we have not yet decided to continue our journey. We decide to take a slow journey back and stay in Kungsbacka municipality for another five days. More or less by chance, we come across the former farming village of Äskhults By, where nobody lives today and yet there is so much life.

About 20 kilometers south-east of Kungsbacka, at some point a sign for sightseeing points in the direction of Äskhults By. There is a steeply sloping parking lot on the hill just behind a forest stage, so unsuitable for wild camping. You have to walk the last 200 meters if you want to reach the former village, Äskhults By.

It took a long time to come across Äskhults By, we would like to be here sooner traveled here. It was a long, very long time ago that people discovered Äskhults By for themselves and first gave him the name Eskholtt.

Presumably the first settlers settled here as early as the Bronze Age, around 2,700 years ago. Some archaeological finds also confirm settlement in the Iron and Viking Ages.

That is not a problem for us, but we are more interested in recent history, to which we somehow still have a connection. After all, the original name is probably derived from a rich ash population in the area. The name Äskhult is said to have existed as early as at least 1592.

In any case, four farms were built in Äskhults By, the owners of which were recorded in a court document in Kungsbacka in the 17th century.

A loamy square was built in the middle of the small village and the owners arranged around it their farms Bengts, Derras, Jönsas and Göttas. A total of 11 buildings were built, the gardens of which are still surrounded by the typical Småland fences and stone walls.
Narrow paths crossed through Äskhults By, which intersected at the village square. In every quarter of this crossroads there was a farm with its corresponding land.
Each farm consisted of five to six acres of land, fiber flax, black oats, grain and spring rye were grown. The foliage of the ash forest was often used as animal feed.

The cultivation of flax was the biggest profit maker in Äskhults By, because the farmers spin it themselves and their wives wove it with their own looms for textiles and small carpets. These products were then sold in the local markets

Älshult – a dying village

The small village life produced a member of the Reichstag and some lay judges at the Kungsbacka court, and Äskhults By was accordingly respected. But at some point there were no more descendants who wanted to continue this arduous work. The industrial revolution had long since changed agriculture and the manufacture of textiles, and 15 young people from Älskhults By alone emigrated to America. Äskhults By threatened to become a ghost village and rot to itself.

But there was someone who loved Äskhults By and he did everything to keep it. Again and again Nils Brogren ran into doors from the neighboring Släp and looked for support to prevent the decay. He had studied the history of Äskhults By intensively and played a major role in the fact that in 1945 the Jönsas Gård and Götta farms were bought by the Diocese of Gothenburg, in 1958 it was also able to take over Bengts Gård and in 1962 Derras Gård. In the further course of the article we introduce Nils Bogren.

New beginning in Älskhults By

The Äskhults Gamla By Foundation was founded as early as 1963, leasing the entire complex from the diocese, but taking it over completely from 1996 onwards. The province of Halland and the municipality of Kungsbacka take care of the maintenance and preservation and the program.

Five-year plans are drawn up on a regular basis, every year all buildings are checked for damage and repaired in the traditional way .

Visiting as with friends – in Äskhults By

Today we are here, we can already see the silhouette of the village Äskhults By above from the parking lot and we are welcomed by the many colorful wild flowers that grow over the stone walls bow. The cows give their position and graze in the shade of the trees.

Then we are in the center of Äskhults By, we see the lush home of Bengt Pehrsson, once a lay judge and member of the Reichstag. Around the turn of the 18th century / 19th century. He lived here in the 19th century, today we enjoy his premises as a café and small shop. Here we pay the entrance fee for this open museum village Äskhults By, in order to then sit down in the parlor with a coffee and small cake and let the furnishings affect us.

More from Äskultshof

How did life in Älshults By once go? How did people live and work here? We have an exciting look back at that time The complete history of the old Swedish farming village we gathered here.

If you want to visit the museum village Äskhults By and experience its program, you can go to the official website by Äskhults By.

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