Medieval fortified manor

First written record of Keila appears in the Liber Census Daniae in 1241 AD. There a village of 10 ploughlands is mentioned.

Little is known of the first stages of construction of the Keila fortified manor. The first fortified manor was probably erected by the Kegels around 1350. Remnants of the walls of three buildings from earlier periods have been discovered during archeological excavations. The base of the hypocaust furnace from this period can still be seen.

In 1385 the Kegels left Estonia and the manor went to the Kalle family. The second stage of construction began: a more sumptuous two-story building was erected. A fragment of a sculptural portal discovered is very similar to the west portal of the Keila church, the authors of which were probably craftsmen from Tallinn.

In 1433 Arndt Kalle sold the manor to the Teutonic Order for 16 000 Riga marks. In their ownership the manor develops more into a small fortress. A round tower common to the fire-arms era was built to the west side of the building. A fence was built around the fprt amd a well was dug.

In 1559 the Master of the Livonian Order Willem von Fürstenberg pledged the fort of Keila to the Tallinn town council. According to the magistrate of Tallinn, the Muscovites set the manors of Keila, Ruila and Harku on fire during the campaign to Estonia in 1560.

On October 9th 1561 the Tallinn magistrate, after having capitulated in the Livonian war, handed the fort over to the Swedish authoroties. The stronghold was probably rebuilt by them since in 1599 it is again referref to as a fort of Keila (castell zu Kegel). During the 60 years in Swedish ownership there were 11 tenants.

By 17th century the manor had new private owners, belonging to the de la Gardies, Duntes and finally the Schiedings. During the 17th century a new manorhouse was erected next to the old one, but very little is known about it.

The manor was severly damaged during the Northern War in 1710 and was totally abandoned in the 1750s.

Archaeological finds from the medieval castle, inter alia medallion from the 14th Century – St. George`s faith with the dragon – are presented in the permanent display of Harju County Museum.