The story of Orkla’s time-honoured, beautiful Borregaard Manor in Sarpsborg dates back as far back as the Viking age.
According to the Snorre saga, Borregaard Manor was originally a royal estate, built by the Viking king Olav Haraldsson (St. Olav) near the Sarpfossen waterfall in 1016. Up until the 1300s, the estate was a regular residence for Norwegian kings, especially in the wintertime. After Håkon Magnusson V built Akershus Castle in 1307, the estate was used as a private residence that would become one of Østfold County’s most prominent manor houses.
One winter night in 1702, the estate was swept away by a massive landslide. The owner Jens Werenskiold and his closest family members were rescued, and a new manor was erected on safe ground. Today the manor still stands on the same site.
The building constructed in the 1700s was a one-and-a-half storey house, which covers the southernmost part of the current main wing. In the 1820s a full second storey was added to the main building, owned at the time by Paul Olsen Thrane. The first part of the side wing was built in 1832, when Sir John Henry Pelly took over the estate. The side wing was expanded after World War II.
An English company, the Kellner Partington Paper Pulp Co. Ltd., bought the estate in 1889, along with the rights to parts of the Sarpsfossen waterfall, and built a pulp mill. For the next decade the manor was used as a school building for the employees’ children. From 1900 to 1976, the manor served as the residence of the company’s managing directors.
In 1987 Orkla became the owner of Borregaard Manor, infusing new life into the venerable property. Repairs were made to the main house, and the barn was converted into a modern conference facility.
Borregaard reaped international recognition after hosting the secret negotiations in 1993 that culminated in the Oslo Agreement, the peace agreement between the PLO and Israel.
In line with Orkla’s tradition of safeguarding cultural assets, the Group decided in the spring of 2013 to restore the interior of the main house to its former magnificence.
Located on a lovely site in Sarpsborg, Østfold County, the historic property is now in full use as a course and conference centre. Orkla and the Group’s business relations also use it as a hospitality venue.