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History of the Manor

Jonsered Manor has a long and diverse history that can be traced back to at least the Late Middle Ages.

Jonsered was then a crown estate, a manor belonging to the state. In 1569, King John III donated it to Brynte Birgersson Lillie, in whose family it remained until 1690 when it once again was claimed by the crown as a result of the so-called Great Reduction under King Charles XI.

During the 18th century and the first couple of decades of the 19th century, Jonsered Manor changed owners several times. In 1831, a high-ranking official in the Swedish Board of Trade, Olof Wijk of Gothenburg, bought the estate, and the following year he sold it to his brother-in-law, the Scottish wholesaler William Gibson, and his partner and countryman Alexander Keiller.

A few years later, Gibson and Keiller founded what would become one of West Sweden's most important industries, the textile and engineering company Jonsereds fabriker, near the manor. The main building became the living quarters for the head of the company, first Keiller and then Gibson. In 1839, they parted ways. Keiller was bought out of the firm and left the manor. Thus, both the company and the manor belonged to the Gibson family. And it remained that way for a long time.

Handed down the generations 

William Gibson lived in the manor house until his passing in 1857 – and his wife Anna for another four years. The manor was then bequeathed to their children and grandchildren. One of their sons, David, had the old main building demolished and a brand new one built – a sumptuous, Italian-style country house, designed by Gothenburg architect Johan August Westerberg.

To this day, Westerberg’s creation remains the main building on the estate.
The last of Anna and William Gibson's descendants at Jonsered Manor was their grandson's son, who had the same first name as his great grandfather, commander captain and textile director William Gibson. He moved into the manor in 1927 and lived there until his death in 1954.
At that time, it was still owned by Jonsereds Fabriker AB, which now rented it to Eric Brodén, one of the company’s general managers who, after the Gibson family’s withdrawal, were brought in from other parts of the corporate sector.

New phase

After short interludes as an office building, art gallery and travel agency, Professor Paul Åström and his wife Elisabet bought the manor in 1983 and made it their home for 20 years. They also ran their publishing company Astrom Editions from the building.

The latest chapter in the history of Jonsered Manor began in 2004 when the University of Gothenburg saw a chance to make an old dream come true: to offer an intellectual centre where representatives from various sectors of society, scientific schools and ideological orientations can meet to exchange thoughts, a melting pot where people can come together to make new acquaintances, absorb new impulses and discover new dimensions of their own world and others’.

Page Manager: Webbredaktionen|Last update: 12/3/2015

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