U 1
Adelsö church, sacristy


The runestone is built into the north wall of the sacristy.
(Nearby there is also runestone U 10 from Dalby walled in).

Runic inscription


Red sandstone.
Size: 120 x 100 cm
Threshold stone to the sacristy until about 1850.
Built into the wall around 1865


The surface is so badly damaged after many years of trampling that some parts of the carving have been lost.

The ornament's knot/boja is unusually beautiful and well-planned, also the ornamentation and the forms of the runes are well executed, which indicates a rune carver with artistic flair and experience.

But why isn't the cross centered?
As it is done now, the right cross arm (which is trampled away) will not fit.

This doesn't make sense to me and is very strange. Is there something about the cross I didn't spot... because it's a cross right?


There have been at least two runestones at Adelsö church, this one and the destroyed U 2 which was also a threshold stone fixed directly into the church and then of course even more worn by trampling.

The runes reveal...

As this rune carver has experience, he has also developed small personalities. One of these is that he has the bi-staff (the one that comes out of the main staff and determines the sound) go from the rune band, the dragon's body instead of, as is more usual, going from the main staff. Another peculiarity is the shape of the S rune, which resembles a lightning bolt.

During the excavation of Alsnöhus in 1916, a piece of a rune stone (U 3) was found which was also made of red sandstone.
When I depicted both with colors and put them next to each other in the Runesparken, clear similarities appeared with the S-rune in particular and the placement of the secondary staves from the rune band instead of the main stave... It's the same rune carver!


Visit the runestone.

The runestone is today embedded in the wall of the church's sacristy (upside down) together with U 10 from Stora Dalby. The door to the sacristy is almost always locked but if you meet one of the people who work there, a caretaker or gardener they are always very helpful and will open for you if they can.

Rune stone U 10 and U 1 in the sacrestian

Here I have turned the runestone correctly.
(The original is walled up and down).



Upplands Runinskrifter > page 2
Good information but only in Swedish.

Runor > Riksantikvarieämbetet
Map and runic inscription.

Google map > Find the runestone

Contact: kalle@runristare.se
If you want to be of help or have a question.

All runestones in the

Runestone Park

We start from the north and go clockwise

U 11 - Adelsö, Hovgården
The King's Runestone in Hovgården, Adelsö

U 3 - Hovgården, Alsnöhus
Found during an excavation in 1916

U 1 - Adelsö church
Former threshold stone to the sacristy. Now built into the wall in the sacristy.

U 2 - Adelsö church
Destroyed by fire around 1660. Former threshold stone to the church.

U 10 - Dalby Adelsö
Found in 1920 at Stora Dalby, northern Adelsö. Now built into the wall of the sacristy, Adelsö church.

U 6 - Björkö village on Birka
Several fragments as a puzzle. Now in the museum at Birka.

U 5b - Birka 2015 (New find 2015)
2024.03.10 Not yet documented or published.

Sö 141b - Aspa bridge (Sö Fv1948;289)
New find in 1937 with the name Svitjod (Sweden).

Sö 179 - The Gripsholm runestone 
Mariefred, the most famous of the Ingvars runestones.

U 887 - Skillsta runestone
One of the world's most beautiful runestones.

Vs 29 - Sala parish church
The runecarver Livsten's masterpiece.

U 1125 - The old man in Krogsta
1500 year old rune stone carved with the older runes, the Old Norse runes.

Uppdaterad 17 mars, 2024 av Kalle Runristare