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Runes and Rock Carvings


Church Bell with Runes, Älvsered Church, Municipality of Falkenberg, Sweden






  Church Bell with Runes, Älvsered, Municipality of Falkenberg, Sweden

The bell hangs in the tower of the church at Älvsered, a village that nowadays belongs to the municipality of Falkenberg in the county of Halland. Traditionally lies Älvsered in the most southern part of the landskap (provice) of Västergötland.

In Sweden, the landskaps had only political or administrative importance until the middle of the 17th century, when a new division of the state into län (counties) was decided. But still we Swedes prefer to use the old landskaps when we talk of different parts of our country and, not the least, its history.

The bell is probably the oldest of the bells Master Håkan cast for some churches in Västergötland in the 14th century.
It has the usual rune inscription used by this skilled craftsman:


This means:
"Hell dig Maria! Jesus. (In English: Bless you Maria! Jesus)".

Below this rune text is an inscription of his name in Latin characters and his personal mark. Note that these characters, as well as the runes above, have to be read from right to left:


This means:

There are also five other personal marks on the bell, one of them surrounded by a circle.

As on many other old bells, some of the bronze in the edges is filed off. Filings from chuch bells were a well-known cure against various diseases. Especially have filings from this been given to children with Rickets (Rachitis), in Sweden usually named "the English disease".




Order an image in full size (11000x 16000 pixels)

The scanning in full size (11000 x 16000 pixels) is sold as a JPG-file for 5 or $ 5. Mail me at henriksson@avrosys.nu  Ref. no. 100749.




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  © 2008 Lars Henriksson. Updated: 2010-01-15.