Menu Close

Rydboholm Castle in Roslagen - and the English Park

Rydboholm Castle in Roslagen is a private castle from the 16th century, and next to the castle is the beautiful English Park, where visitors are welcome. But to be able to find the English park, you have to know that it exists!

Rydboholm Castle in Österåker

Rydboholm Castle dates back to the Middle Ages and has been home to members of the older Stureätten, Vasaätten and Braheätten. The castle is still privately owned and no one is allowed to visit the castle or the castle garden. However, the large and beautiful English park is open to the public.

Rydboholms slott

The castle is located at Kyrkfjärden in Österåker municipality, just north of Stockholm. The easiest way to get there may be to aim for Östra Ryd's church, which is on the same slip road.

A hidden gem at Östra Ryd's church

We probably wouldn't have found our way to Rydboholm Castle and the English Park, if it hadn't been for that lady we met at the... Bogesund Castle in Vaxholm. She said that she in turn received the tip from an acquaintance. And that's probably how it has to happen.

Information about the English Park is poor, and even when approaching the main road, there are no signs. You simply have to know that you have to turn off at the Östra Ryd churchand then follow the signs for "Rydboholms gård".

Östra Ryds kyrka

As you approach the castle, there is a car park where you can leave your car. You then walk past some nice old houses before reaching large heavy Securitas gates, which prevent you from entering the castle park. Instead, you can turn right, past some horse farms. And now there are actually (finally!) signs pointing to the "English Park".

Hus vid Rydboholms slott
Rött hus vid Rydboholms slott

Rydboholm Castle through history

The name "Ryd" is prehistoric and is mentioned on a rune stone in the area. There are also several burial sites from the Iron Age, which indicate Viking villages from the time before the castle.

Stureätten and Vasaätten

In the early 15th century, "Gammelgården i Rydboholm" was built, which at that time was a wooden building. The first known owner was the Gustav Anundsen Stureand the estate later passed on to the Stureätten, and then to the Vasaätten through marriage. It is possible that Gustav Vasa was born at Rydboholm Castle, but this is not certain. It is known, however, that he spent much of his youth here.

brewing facilities

The castle was passed on to the Braheätten and in 1548, the Per Brahe the elder (1520-1590) construct a main stone building, which now forms the core of the present-day castle. The distinctive 'Vasatornet', a stand-alone structure, also dates from this period.


Per Brahe's son, Abraham Brahe, construction continued, including a tower that no longer exists. At the time, the castle was powerful and protected by moats. Outside were ships and sailing vessels, as the sea route was the natural access point at that time.

Perelle, Nicolas, 1631-1692 (Engraver) Dahlbergh, Erik, 1625-1703 (Commissioner) / Public domain

At the beginning of the 18th century, the castle was destroyed by fire, with the exception of the Vasa Tower. The eastern wing was added and the castle took on its current appearance with three U-shaped wings around an open courtyard.

There are several memorials from the time when the castle belonged to ... Magnus Fredrik Brahe (1756-1826). He was in opposition to the king and was arrested by Gustav III, but he and the king were reconciled on Gustav III's deathbed.

The Brahe family then kept the castle in their possession (with a few exceptions) until 1930, when the family was extinguished with the death of Count Brahe. Magnus Per Brahe (1849-1930). According to his will, Rydboholm was then taken over by the court stable master and freeholder William of Essen, Count Brahe's nephew.

Monument vid Rydboholms slott
Memorial stone to Magnus Fredrik Brahe (1756-1826)
Monument vid Rydboholms slott
Memorial to Ulrica Catharina Koskull, first wife of Magnus Fredrik Brahe.

Rydboholm Castle today

Rydboholm Castle is currently owned and occupied by the Countess of Stockholm. Elisabeth Douglas (née von Essen) and Count and financier Gustaf Douglas. Gustaf Douglas is one of Sweden's wealthiest people and had a personal fortune of USD 4.4 billion in May 2015, according to Wikipedia and the newspaper. The Richest. He is a major shareholder in many large companies, such as Securitas, Assa Abloy and Sweco.

The castle will have several beautiful and special rooms, such as "The Vasa Room" with decorated wall panels from the time of Per Brahe the Elder. There are also "The Birgitta Chamber" with decorated arches from the 17th century. However, the castle is completely private and none of this is on display to the public. You should also not expect to get close to the castle.

Rydboholms slott

English Park

Although the public cannot visit the castle, they are welcome to stroll around the large English park. The park is located just west of the castle and extends all the way down to Hällsundet.

The park was created at the end of the 18th century by the then owner Magnus Fredrik Brahe. According to the fashion of the time, the park was given a lush and natural design, and was decorated with various memorial stones and gazebos.

Engelska parken

You can stroll around the park for quite some time, and during your walk you may encounter, among other things:

  • Memorial stones on Magnus Fredrik Brahe and Catharina Koskull
  • Sacrificial bowl at Hällsundet
  • "Diogenes barrel" - a green gazebo in the shape of a barrel, with a bench and a view of Hällsundet. The barrel refers to the story of the Greek philosopher Diogenes, who was thought to live simply in a barrel.
  • Temple - a red temple at Hällsundet (top image)
  • Forest shelter - small wooden house with slanted chimney
  • Warehouse building - a red wooden building
Diogenes tunna vid Hällsundet i engelska parken
Diogenes barrel
Helena i Engelska parken vid Rydboholms slott
Forest shelter

We were here in April 2020, but looking at the ground, in some places it almost looked like autumn. Does anyone know why this is the case?

Höstfeeling i engelska parken

All in all, we can recommend a visit to the beautiful English park at Rydboholm Castle in Roslagen. Don't forget to say hello to the dragon!

Drake i engelska parken

More to see and do in the neighbourhood

Looking for more things to see and do in the neighbourhood? If so, we have two tips:

  • Bogesund Castle is a beautiful 17th-century castle, and there are great hiking trails in the surrounding area. Distance from Rydboholm Castle: 16 min by car.
  • City of Vaxholm is a very charming little town with cosy restaurants and great views of the water. Distance from Rydboholm Castle: 17 min by car.
Göra i Uppland
All our top tips for holidays in Uppland

Facts about Rydboholm Castle

  • Municipality: Municipality of Österåker
  • Location: At Kyrkfjärden in Östra Ryds parish
  • Developer: Per Brahe the elder
  • Previous owners: The older Stureätten and the Vasaätten and Braheätten.
  • Current owner: Elisabeth Douglas née von Essen and Gustaf Douglas
  • For visitors: The castle and castle park are not open to visitors, but the neighbouring English park can be visited.

Facts about the English Park

  • Location: At Rydboholm castle, down towards Hällsundet.
  • Established: In the 18th century by then owner Magnus Fredrik Brahe.
  • Buildings in the park: Temple, forest hut, Diogenes' barrel gazebo, sacrificial bowl at Hällsundet and several obelisks and memorial stones.

Finding Rydboholm Castle and the English Park

  • Car: Drive the E18 from Stockholm towards Åkersberga. At Arninge motorway junction turn off onto road 274 towards Vaxholm. Then turn off towards Östra Ryds kyrka. The castle is located just after the church, on the right.
All our top tips about Sweden! Click on the image

Subscribe to our newsletter