Risøbank was built in 1901 for Lord Edward Salvesen (1857 – 1942) from Edinburgh and his family. Edward T. Salvesen was a lawyer. From 1905 to 1922 he was one of the 13 judges in The High Court of Justice. He therefore had the right to carry the title of Lord during his lifetime.
The parents of Lord Salvesen, Christian and Amalie (b. Andorsen), came from Mandal before they settled down in Leith, Scotland. Here Christian established the firm Christian Salvesen & Co, which became a powerful shipping company and a well-known business in coal, timber and whaling.
The Scottish architect, Sir Robert Lorimer planned Risøbank. He is also known for the national war memorial in Edinburgh.
The main building, the gardener's house, the bell house, the outbuilding, and the greenhouses, were built in English style. Lord Salvesen used big resources on uncovering the layers of peat under the sand – in this way he created the English garden.
Around 1970 the state took over the property. Mandal council has the disposal of the buildings and is responsible for the maintenance of them. In 1977 an extensive renovation took place.
The main building is today used by local industry, associations and clubs. The place is also well suited for celebrations, exhibitions, and small concerts. During the summer there is a café here.
There is a monument on the lawn in front of the main building towards the sea. There are similar monuments many places in Norway. They are raised at places that have victims of the tragedy at Utøya July 22 2011. The name of the victim from Mandal is on a plaque beside the monument.
English translation: Kirsti Birkeland og Liv Smith