Råda Manor stands, white and elegant, in undulating, diverse landscape by lake Rådasjön in Mölnlycke. The manor house comprises the main building and wings, plus a number of outbuildings.
Råda Manor is a well-preserved estate with a fascinating heritage. It dates back to medieval times and was mentioned as far back as the fourteenth century. The present main building was constructed in 1772 for Martin Törngren, director of the East India Company.
Råda Manor is part of the lake Rådasjön nature reserve, which is managed by the municipality of Härryda. The reserve has special ecological, cultural and recreational values that are taken into account in its management. The Labbera peninsula is part of the manor grounds and is easily reached by following a signposted nature trail. This is a great place for a walk through the impressive beech forest or to visit the ruined folly built by Martina von Schwerin in the nineteenth century to add character to the landscape.
Over the centuries the owners of Råda Manor have remodelled the garden and planted areas to suit their needs, passions and contemporary tastes. In the latter part of the nineteenth century and first few decades of the twentieth century large quantities of fruit, vegetable and flowers were cultivated at Råda Manor in the fields and in a number of greenhouses. The vegetables and fruits were sold at market in Gothenburg, and Råda Manor also had its own florist shop in the city. Farming continued until 1975.
The garden at Råda Manor has a history that spans several centuries. The layout and structure of the garden indicate that it was probably created at the end of the seventeenth century, and information about the historical garden influences the development of the present garden. The aim is not to re-establish the growing of plants and crops for sale, however, but to pass on knowledge about the activities of a forgotten age along with gardening and cultivation skills.
A LEADER project was set up in 2012 as a step towards developing the potential of Råda Manor and its gardens as a tourist destination, and to attract more visitors. The project has so far led to the creation of a kitchen garden and perennial borders, as well as teaching materials about plants, animals and nature for school classes and other visiting children. Because there were originally several greenhouses at Råda Manor a new greenhouse has now been recreated. This also provides a base for courses on growing plants for the garden.
Hannu Sarenström, an author and gardening enthusiast, designed the terrace planting and selected the plants. The borders flower from early spring until late autumn. Hannu took his inspiration from the history of Råda Manor and the location itself. Every season has something fresh to offer, with different combinations of colours at different times. The newly built long bench was inspired by old photographs found at the manor house.
The new kitchen garden was opened in 2014. Vegetables and herbs are not only grown as produce for the manor restaurant, but also to inspire visitors to cultivate their own gardens. Educational activities also take place here. Children and students can walk round and get familiar with the various plants, learn the names of herbs and vegetables, see the difference between cultivated and wild carrots or watch bees working in a glass-walled beehive.