I’ve got me some history MoJo
I was quite surprised to hear that some of you had never heard of rune stones before.
Then I realized just how lucky I was to live in a part of the world with a rich tapestry of history, old buildings (in England) and even older stones (Sweden).
Some of you live in countries where the buildings are fairly new in comparison, and it is not every country (in fact, nearly none at all!) that has stone slabs lying around everywhere like discarded pieces of clothing.
Rune stones are memorials to people who died way back when… The tradition of raising stones goes back back back to the 4th and 5th century, although most stones were raised in the 10th and 11th centuries in Sweden, Denmark and, to some extent, Norway. The fad died out after a couple of generations, except in this district, where it hung on for a hundred more years. (Yup – there were redneck Vikings even then!)
The stone on the left is called U 225, but I usually call him Mo.
I like Mo as he is made of the traditional red granite and is painted with a colourful red. He was raised by two brothers, Arnkell and Gýi (amazing how easily those names just trip off your tongue), to honour their dead father.
This other stone is U 226 – also known as Jo.
Jo was raised by a wife and her family in memory of her husband in the 1010s – same time as Mo more or less. Both were carved by the Runemaster Gunnar. (That’s right – they’re called Runemasters! Great name for a rock band.)
In other words, rune stones are a bigger, older (try a thousand years old) version of a any gravestone that you might see in a cemetery, stating: In loving memory of…
I meet Mo and Jo nearly every day, in rain or shine. They sit there peacefully on the banks of our local lake, enjoying the view of the water and the woods. (Note to self: Do NOT let the dog pee on these historic monuments…) In fact, the whole area where they live is a protected area because of its history.
You can find Mo and Jo around the corner from our house in a place called Arkils Tingstad – or the Assembly location of Arkil. The stones set in a square that you can see nowadays are the remains of a Viking assembly place, probably an outdoor court where justice was delivered. (Mo and Jo are located very near these stones.)
The stones of this assembly place are a great spot for a picnic and the anklebiters love hopping from one to the other while the dog rushes past Jo and Mo without even a hello to jump into the waters of the lake.
I thank you all for demanding this follow-up post as it has really opened up my eyes to the wonder and history on my doorstep.
What surprises are there under your nose, I wonder?
If you want even more fun, then head on over to That’s my World!