Bexell´s talking stones
The “talking stones” refer to some inscriptions engraved in a forest, which are a unique cultural heritage.
It was a landowner and Member of Parliament, Alfred Bexell (1831-1900), who, in the 1880s and 1890s, engaged engravers to inscribe on rocks and stones on his property (Torstorp) numerous sayings and hundreds of names of historic persons and well-known contemporaries.
Alfred Bexell died his stones were forgotten, and the inscriptions were soon covered with moss. Years later, in 1925, they were rediscovered by a family on a picnic in the forest, and they have been intriguing people ever since. Today the inscriptions and the beautiful beech forest are a popular place for hikes and excursions.
The names constitute a fascinating collection of personalities from past times – scientists, philosophers, authors, kings, presidents, politicians, brave warriors, adventures and heroes: Aristotle, Bacon, Caesar, Dante, John Ericsson, Franklin, von Linné, Mirabeau, Nansen etc.
So far, 560 names have been found in the forest.
To date, 160 sayings have been found. All but one are in Swedish. Bexell left no records of the sayings, but many more likely to be hidden under the moss. The inscriptions consist of sayings, proverbs, maxims and quotations of authors, but also Bexell´s own thoughts. They convey eternal truths well worth contemplating:
“Do not say all you know but always know what you say”
“To trust in oneself is to double one´s ability”
“Whoever has never sought love and friendship is far poorer than those who have lost them both”
WHY DID BEXELL MAKE THE INSCRIPTIONS?
The inscriptions most likely spring from Bexell´s wish to transfer to future generations his philosophy of life as well as important culture and historic events. This interpretation is supported by particular content of the sayings and the careful selection of the names. Moreover, it is well known that Bexell took a great interest in history and culture.
HOW DOES ONE GET TO THE INSCRIPTIONS?
Drive road 153 towards Värnamo. After Rolfstorp turn right toward Grimeton (golf course). After 3 kilometers, turn left towards the golf course (golfbana, also signed Bexell’s stenar). Pass the golf course and continue a few kilometers into the woods until you come to a big parking lot. At the parking lot there is a big information board about Bexell’s talking stones.