The 3 Vabriku Street Property (Currently 2 Vabriku Street)

The first information about a separate property at 3 Vabriku St dates back to 1809 when the land was bought from Rakvere manor lord Jakob Johann Tiesenhausen by manor governor Reinhold Johann Damm. At that time, the land also included the plot located away from the street but now the stone building and land there is a separate property. We don't know if there were buildings on the land back then. But we can guess that the log house with the mantle chimney that's partially on the street is from the 18th century, making it one of the oldest wooden buildings in Rakvere.

The first information about this property dates back to 1809!

More than two centuries ago, there was definitely an old, wooden house at the east end of the Rakvere manor park. That house has seen the life and times change throughout the centuries. The buildings used to be part of the manor complex and belonged to the manor governor.

The separate wooden house on the hillside has been used as a home. Of the other manor complex buildings, the main manor has been preserved and undergone several reconstructions to now become a community centre and theatre.

The manor has been rebuilt but its original stables and ancillary buildings are authentic though they now have new functions.

This story goes into detail about the history of this one house from the manor ensemble and its history.


This old, wooden house is one of the most interesting 18th century buildings in Rakvere. Many of the original construction details were preserved - the wide weatherboards, which are attached using hand wrought nails, and the original mantel chimney. A lot of reconstruction has been done throughout the years. For example, the South Wing was added in the first half of the 19th century.

Before renovations began, the house was in bad shape. Most of the roof leaked so the walls were partly rotten through as were the beams and rafters. Large maple trees grew out from under the foundation. 2/3rds of the foundation was underground, which meant that the bottom logs were also rotten. The house stayed in one piece mainly thanks to a rather well preserved architrave, which held up the ceiling beams and the whole roof.


After studies, an expert appraisal and drawing the project, the demolition started. The first to go was the roof, which was covered with 5-8 layers of tar and ruberoid sheeting. The bottommost layer was partly the remains of the old wood shingled roof. Next, the partition walls built in the Soviet era were torn down because they divided the rooms into tiny spaces. The abovementioned work produced about 15 truckfuls of waste taken to the landfill.

To relieve the weight bearing on the structure, the layer of insulation on the first floor ceiling was removed - it was made up of moss, sand and clay. Since the years had buried the house deep in the ground, it was dug out and about a 30-70 cm layer of soil was removed. This revealed the foundation and the state it was in. Next, the foundation was reinforced, leaving some of the limestone and ironstone foundation visible after it was cleaned and grouted.

The facade renovations meant removing the damaged weatherboards and reusing as much of the old, wood material as possible. The main facade was covered with the original weatherboards and the other walls were covered with comparable, new weatherboards. As the walls were renovated, several rows of logs were replaced both above the foundation as well as in the walls. Unfortunately, reusable, old logs were hard to find so new pine logs were used. The south wall in the yard was so depreciated that it crumbled and a new wall was built.

Some of the original floorboards had been replaced but some of the 30cm wide original grooved floorboards were preserved. Most of the floor beams were rotten but the usable floorboards were removed and reused to finish the ceilings.

The ceiling beams and rafters had also been damaged by time. Most of the ceiling beams were replaced and connected together by using Dutch tenons, forged bolts and clamps. The rotten parts of the rafters were also replaced and new rafters added to help level the roof.

The original mantel chimney was pretty well preserved but the part that reached outside the roof was dilapidated. The chimney head was torn down to 30-40 cm from the roof and rebuilt. A new wood shingle roof was built to give the house an authentic and nice look.


After the house was restored, it has become the only true representative of the Rakvere Old Town on Õllepruuli Street (now called Vabriku Street). The street is fairly narrow, it has its original stone paving and the buildings on it are all historical. Other buildings on Vabriku and Tallinna Streets that have been restored are the stone buildings that Peeter Truts and SA Virumaa Museums restored. With 2 Vabriku Street, a wooden house joins their ranks. As the construction came to a close, this region and the manor park became one of the most interesting tourist sites in Rakvere.

Recently, Rakvere has been one of the most actively visited places in Estonia by tourist who are interested in history. The restoration of the old wooden house at 2 Vabriku Street truly adds value to the region.