The History

The History

Toftaholm was founded in 1389 by Jöns Skötta. He was raised to nobility as a Stenbock and turned Toftaholm into a manor house. The work on Toftaborg Fort was completed in 1460 by his grandson, Councillor Gustav Olsson Stenbock the Elder. Toftaborg Fort served to protect the estate and the local population, and it was part of Sweden’s defence system against Denmark. According to legend, there is an underground passage from the fort to the northern wing of the manor house. Under the powerful Stenbocks, Toftaholm grew into one of Småland’s largest estates.

The old nobleman’s estate was at its height in the mid-16th century. It was then owned by commander-in-chief Gustav Olsson Stenbock the Younger. He was married to Britta Leijonhufvud, sister of Gustav Vasa’s second wife Margareta. The Marshal was the King’s most trusted man. Gustav Olsson Stenbock the Younger later became Gustav Vasa’s father-in-law when the 56-year-old King married Stenbock’s 16-year-old daughter Katarina. On one of Gustav Vasa’s visits to Toftaholm, Danish troops approached without warningand Gustav Vasa had to escape through the now legendary underground tunnel, whereby he lost two rings intended as a present to Katarina.

According to the legend, the rings are still in the tunnel. Kristina Sofia Stenbock married Under-Secretary Per Nilsson Natt och Dag in 1624 They owned the estate until 1661 when it went to parliamentary and national Treasurer Gustav Bonde.

The southern wing is the oldest and is called the "Katarina Stenbock Wing." It is likely from the mid-18th century. The northern wing is called the "Gustav Adolf Wing," named after King Gustav Adolf, who stayed here with his soldiers when he was on his way to fight the Danes.

The main building was destroyed in a major fire in the mid-19th century. The current main building was constructed in 1871. The oldest preserved building at Toftaholm is the old Inn "Den Gyllene Abborren," dating back to 1640. We sometimes organize events in "Abborren," and the atmosphere is unique with its large open fireplaces and old wooden floors and cellar vaults. We are happy to share more about the history and also show the old Inn if we have time and opportunity (not during peak season).

The manor ghost Mats

In the 18th century, a junk named Mats served here. He was in love with the count's daughter. However, the count arranged a marriage for his daughter with the son of a nobleman. It was a big wedding, and on the evening of the celebration, Mats disappeared. Mats was totally broken-hearted, and he was found a week later in one of the Mansion's guest rooms, where he had hung himself. Just a few hundred meters from the Manor, Mats' grave is located at the "Mats Stone". Mats is a gentle ghost and sometimes appears behind women, mainly, and places his hand on a woman's shoulder.

Discovery of a Viking sword

During the summer of 2018, Saga (8 years old) and her father Andy Vanecek were by their boat in the lake Vidöstern in Tånnö, about 10 km from the manor, when Saga made an increadible discovery. She found a sword on the water. It turned out to be a historic find. Initially, the Jönköping County Museum believed the sword to be a thousand years old, but later analysis suggested it was likely even older. It is now believed to date back to the pre-Viking era, around the 5th to 6th century, and the discovery has sparked significant interest among researchers and archaeologists. Saga's discovery gained attention not only in Sweden but also internationally.