Pedersöre courthouse

Vaasantie 116 Pietarsaari


The construction of the courthouse was led by Johan Klubb, a local ship master builder. People argued about the place of the courthouse, but it was finally built according to the common people’s wishes in Kirkkoranta, close to the old coastal road (Vaasantie). In those days, Kirkkoranta was the centre of the Pedersöre parish, a village settlement with a parish granary and church cottages. A dungeon was located on the other side of the road. “Galgbacken”, an execution ground, was not far away either.


The medieval stone church of Pedersöre also stands in this central location next to the courthouse. In the early 1770s, a little before the courthouse was finished, a bell-tower was built under the guidance of Thomas Rijf and Matti Honka.


The last court session in this courthouse from 1787 was held in March 1967, after which the building served mainly as a parish storage. At some point, the courthouse has also been used as a hospital for Russian soldiers, a confirmation classroom, and Pedersöre municipality office, assembly and election facility.


The building has been repaired and renovated a few times during the last two centuries, but it has largely retained its original appearance. Some of the furniture, such as the court judge’s chair, also date from the early years of the courthouse.


An association is presently in charge of the activities and plans concerning the courthouse. Today the building is a museum, and its first theatre performance was arranged in summer 2017: a play about a trial in which a farmer was accused of several murders in the early 1860s.




In the early 1860s, an unusual trial was held in the courthouse. Farmer Karl Granroth from Pirilö was charged with eight murders. Not all the murders could be proven, but those of two children were enough to sentence the farmer to death. The senate changed the death sentence to 40 whippings, a public confession of sins in the church of Vaasa, and expulsion to Siberia. Granroth is said to have lost his life on the way to Siberia. (Lehtinen: PS Pulssi 14 July 2017)   


Former Chief Judge Lennart Johansson remembers that, even as late as the early 1960s, life remained busy on the church hill and in the courthouse, on those days when all parties were summoned to the opening of the court session. A court service would be held in the adjacent church and a period of public peace during court sessions declared. Johansson also remembers the last session at the courthouse, which was held on 16 March 1967. The lay members used to speak the nearly unintelligible Swedish dialects of their home villages, but no one spoke Finnish. (Rintala: Lakimies Uutiset 27 August 2014)




Pedersöre courthouse



Pedersöre courthouse a long time ago (Pedersöre storsockens historia I)


The dungeon close to the courthouse (Pedersöre storsockens historia I)


Pedersöre church, church cottages and parish granary (Pedersöre storsockens historia II)


Pedersöre church today