Today Silvhytteå is a very quiet place with only a few traces left of the ironworks. It has a beautiful setting between the two lakes Fullen and Grycken and people come here to eat their picnic, walk around or use their canoe on the lakes.
Silvhytteå means “silver smelting house river”. The name comes from a silver smelting house that was built in the end of the 17th century beside the small waterfall between the lakes. By time iron was produced here instead and in 1787 Stjärnsund iron built a smelting house in Silvhytteå. At this time around 100 persons worked at Silvhytteå ironworks, something that is hard to imagine when you walk around the area today.
As competition increased the ironworks in Husby Parish merged into Kloster AB. Silvhytteå became part of the company in 1871. But low profitability and poor communication soon led to the closure of Silvhytteå ironworks. Most buildings in the area were then demolished.
The buildings you can see today is the timber smelting house, a roasting kiln (built in greenish slag stone), a school house and an outhouse. There are also slag stone pillars left from the coalhouse.
In 1872 a sluice gate was built between Fullen and Grycken and it is still working.
Gustaf de Laval (1845 – 1931) was a Swedish engineer and inventor who worked at the Kloster mill in 1876 – 1877.
As Fredrik Lagergren, the boss at Kloster mill, was very interested in technology he let de Laval use the forge where he could work with his experiments and inventions.
It was when Gustaf de Laval was in Kloster that he made the prototype of what was to become the separator, a machine that separates cream from milk. While de Laval was in Kloster he also made experiments and sketches for the steam turbine.
Gustaf de Lavals forge had before the beginning of the 19th century been used as a hammer mill and in the end of the 19th century it was used for fine smith works.
In the old stables next to Gudsberga Abbey, on the grounds of Kloster mansion, there is a museum, the Kloster Ironworks Museum. In the museum there are exhibitions about the abbey, the Gun Powder Mill, Gustaf de Laval and the ironworks.
When we visited a summer day in the late afternoon the museum was open. Admission was 20kr (June 2011) and you put the money in a box by the entrance. As we had left our money in the car we did not visit the museum.
In 1486 the knight Ingel Jönsson and his wife Birgitta made a donation to the Cistercian Order and a monastery was founded in the village, which at that time was called Riddarhyttan. After a few years the name of the village was changed to Kloster, which is the Swedish word for monastery. The monastery was named Guds Berg (God’s Mountain).
Only the large monastery church was completed. It measured 44m x21m and it is the ruins of this church that can be seen today in Kloster.
The monastery was short lived. In 1527 it was confiscated by the crown and some years later it was closed down for good.
Photo 5 is from an open-air service held at the ruins in the 1970s.
The village Kloster is situated in Husby Parish in Hedemora Municipality.
Kloster is a small village in Husby Parish. For long iron has been produced in the area and from the 17th century gunpowder was also produced in Kloster. It was very profitable and by time there were as many as 128 small mills along River Klosterån. Most of the gunpowder was sold to the state and it was known for its good quality.
In 1757 there was an explosion and the mill was destroyed, but it was rebuilt.
In the mid 19th century the state control of the gunpowder production ceased and more effective and less dangerous explosives became common. This lead to an end of Kloster Gunpowder Mill and it was closed in 1871.
The gunpowder was stored in stone houses with thick walls. Two of them are still standing and the one on the photo is from 1810, and the other gunpowder store in the village is from 1746.