U 2
Lost by fire
But the runic inscription is preserved

History & runes

Early 17th century and the antiquarian Johannes Bureus comes to Adelsö and finds the runestone U 2 as a threshold stone to Adelsö church and notes: "for the church door".

Bureus whose great passion was runes and runic inscriptions and he copies these carefully but unfortunately not the ornamentation of the runestone.

J. Bureu's note on rune stone U 2 early 17th century.

Runic inscription:

Ofeigr and …-bjorn, they had these stones raised in memory of Ernbjorn, their father. May God help his soul.

Thanks to the shape and spelling of the runes, the runestone can be linked to the rune carver Balle, active at the end of the 11th century and disciple of the master Livsten.

Balle can be attributed to about 40 runestones in both Uppland, Södermanland and Västmanland, of which about 20 are signed with the name "bali".


Sometime during the first part of the 17th century, the rune stone is removed as a threshold stone and placed in the armory and the church entrance.

The armory is on fire!
When the armory later burns, the runestone is charred and broken.

There is a preserved note that Erich Jöransson and Anders Bengtsson were paid in 1679 for rebuilding the armory.

Drawing: J. Peringskiöld ca 1684

Peringskiöld's description of the runestone:

"... outside the door of the armory, on a large lying slab of reddish stone, but now by the last fire in the wooden armory, so burnt and broken in pieces that you can hardly see any runic inscription on it now..."

Here are some interesting details…

It is found in 1684 outside the armory's door.

It is a large rune stone which, after the fire in the armory, broke into pieces and was then placed outside the armory.

The rune stone is red and is worn after years of trampling as a threshold stone into the church. Then it is definitely red sandstone just like U 1 and U 3.

Peringskiöld also writes:
".. almost none of the carving is visible anymore .."

"almost" but then in any case there is something left, and if you were to find parts today, with the help of lighting from the side you should still find part of the work.

So where are the (large) burnt pieces of red sandstone now?

Either they are in the old wall or they have been used for filling or similar. If the pieces were still big enough, they might have been reused, for example. headstone.



Upplands runinskrifter > page 4
Only in Swedish

Runcarver Balle och U 2 > PDF
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 20 mars, 2024 av Kalle Runristare