Unique preservation and recreation of a 1700s landscape
The Äskhult cultural reserve was formed in 1997. At first glance, the lands didn’t have much in common with the eighteenth-century landscape that was to be recreated. The outlying lands had been planted with coniferous forest, the infields had been abandoned, and the borders of the tillage allotments had changed during the redistributions. Despite this, many traces of older tillage and land division remained – for example clearance cairns, cattle paths and pollarded trees, as well as the important stone walls that form boundaries between infields and outlying lands. Extensive restoration work has been underway in Äskhult since the reserve was formed. Arable lands have been plowed up, trees have been newly pollarded, kitchen gardens have been recreated and a number of the afforested outlying lands have been cleared and a heath recreated. The work has led to a new decision and a new management plan being drawn up, and Äskhult has been a cultural reserve since 2004.
The purpose of recreating
The purpose of the cultural reserve has been to preserve the hamlet of Äskhult – a cultural and historical total environment unique in the country – and to recreate and bring to life a cultural environment with buildings, a village commons, infields and outlying lands as they were shaped just before the agrarian revolution and the 1825–1827 redistribution of land holdings.
For visitors: Historical paths
There are four historical paths of varying lengths in Äskhult. Along them are a number of stations that talk about the history and nature at the site. You can wander around on your own here, and you’ll get the most of it if you bring a copy of Äskhults historiska stigar (Äskhult’s Historical Paths), which are available for purchase when Äskhult by is open; there are also simpler brochures at the information board in Äskhult that you can take with you.