Skyrim Special Edition

About this mod

Winterhold Restored removes the ruined buildings in Winterhold and adds new buildings, player homes, a new housecarl, merchants, followers, marriable NPCs, new horses, fishing docks, a greenhouse, a fishery and more.

This mod has been cleaned with SSEEdit, is fully navmeshed and was optimized with occlusion planes to boost fps.

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Winterhold Restored


Winterhold Restored removes the ruined buildings in Winterhold and adds walls to demarcate the boundaries of the city proper, 18 new buildings and a few landmarks. The mod also features the addition of the following merchants or services to the city:

  • An alchemist
  • A bard
  • A blacksmith
  • A bookstore
  • A ferryman
  • A fishery
  • A fletcher
  • A food vendor
  • A fence
  • A greenhouse
  • A guardhouse with a jail, additional guards and a guard captain
  • A hunter/fisherman
  • A jeweler
  • A mead hall
  • A "mod" merchant (this special merchant will sell gear exclusive to the mod and requested by mod users)
  • A spell merchant
  • A tailor
  • Fishing docks
  • Stables with a new horse breed
  • Two potential player homes and a new housecarl

All of the new citizens have been set to protected, with the exception of the followers who have been set to essential. The NPCs' level scale with the player and they don't have level caps. The NPCs have immersive schedules and a few of them can become potential followers and marriageable options once their disposition is high enough. There are two potential player homes that can be bought after becoming the Thane of Winterhold, as well as a new housecarl. Winterhold also has a new furry mascot, a unique snow-white husky follower, who wanders the city and its outskirts. This mod has been cleaned with SSEEdit, is fully navmeshed, features limited landscape edits and has been carefully optimized with occlusion planes to boost fps. Meshes from the modding resources that were used, were all cleaned and optimized with SSE NIF Optimizer.


--The Fishery--

To find the fishery, you need to walk under the bridge that connects the city and the college of Winterhold, continue along the narrow path down the hill and you will see it below near the water's edge. You can place pond fish, salmon roe, clam meat and slaughterfish eggs in the fish hatchery to spawn fish just like the fishery that becomes available through Windstad Manor in the Hearthfire DLC.

--The Fishing Docks--

The fishing docks is within view of the fishery and could be seen while walking the same path down the hill. The docks also features a ferryman who will transport you to Solitude, Dawnstar, Morthal, Windhelm and Castle Volkihar and will chat about those destinations once you've hired him to take you there, similar to the carriage drivers. In addition to this, the vanilla ferrymen will also be able to transport the player to Winterhold and give immersive dialogue about the Hold when they do.

--The Greenhouse--

The greenhouse is maintained by the alchemist in her basement, go to the alchemist's store located near the Frozen Hearth Inn, head downstairs and you will find the entrance to the greenhouse. You can grow up to 80 plants there.

--The Guardhouse and Jail--

Most of the new guards added in the mod will sleep there after their patrol. The jail can be found in the basement. Please note that I didn't touch the crime system in Winterhold - when you commit a crime you will still go to the ice cave, "The Chill," my jail is purely for aesthetics for now. I'm considering adding a system to allow the player to send NPCs there in the future or even adding a torture chamber if enough folks request it.

If the Empire seizes control of Winterhold then all of the guards added by my mod including the ones patrolling the fishery and fishing docks will be replaced by imperial soldiers, the guard captain will also be replaced. In addition to this, the Winterhold banners on the guardhouse will switch to imperial banners if they take over the hold during the Civil War and even the makeshift Talos shrine within the Guardhouse will be removed.

--The Landmarks--

There are two statues of Shalidor, the founder of Winterhold, one near the guardhouse with a greatsword and the other under the snowy oak tree with an eagle. NPCs will gather around them from time to time, just like the Gildergreen in Whiterun. Winterhold now has a Temple of Jhunal, a place of learning and research, inspired in part by the lore in TES II: Daggerfall. The Temple features a staff enchanter and a spider scroll crafting station introduced by the Dragonborn DLC. Outside of the Temple, there is a statue of Jhunal, the nordic god of wisdom and magic. Just outside of the Mead Hall down at the docks, is a statue of Kyne with a shrine and a plaque to memorialize those who died in the Great Collapse.

--The Mead Hall--

It is located at the fishing docks. You can buy food and drinks there, it has a lot of beds for you and your followers and safe cloud storage chests in its basement. The Mead Hall also has a pool of water in its basement that can be used with your bathing mods. Feel free to set the Mead Hall and/or its basement as a "home base" for your followers, it was designed with this in mind. The bard added in the mod will also perform there and several of the citizens throughout the city will visit it.

--The Merchants--

The leveled lists for the goods sold by the new merchants have been carefully tweaked so they will have a chance to sell most of the vanilla and official DLC items in the game. Please note, that the rare items added by the guild quests and the official DLCs will only appear once those questlines have been completed. This isn't a cheat, since in most cases you would have already bought or collected the rare items during the questline anyway. The premise of this feature is that the conclusion of the conflicts in those questlines would and should open up trade with those factions and/or regions just as in real life (something that was done with the Thieves Guild questline with respect to the new fences and caravans). The following is a list of the prerequisite events for the expansion of goods available to the merchants in this mod:

Dawnguard DLC
After the death of Harkon and completion of the quest, "Kindred Judgment," the new merchants will begin to sell Dawnguard and Castle Volkihar related spells, weapons, armor, potions, ingredients, etc.

Hearthfire DLC
Nothing to see here, keep scrolling down; the new food and ingredients are available without any prerequisites. Personally, I don't see a valid reason not to, besides who doesn't like pie or cheese...Cheese for everyone! Wait, scratch that. Cheese for no one. Oh well maybe a little.

Dragonborn DLC
After the death of Miraak and completion of the quest, "At the Summit of Apocrapha," the new merchants will sell spells, weapons, armor, clutter, food, drinks, potions, ingredients, etc. added by the Dragonborn DLC. For instance, the ultra-rare albino spider pods will be stocked by the general goods store after Miraak dies. There's one exception to this rule, however, the new spell merchant will sell the bound dagger spell right away, because personally I think bound daggers should have been in the vanilla game as was the case in Oblivion.

Vaermina's Daedric Quest
After completing "Waking Nightmare," regardless of the decision you make, the tailor will sell Vaermina robes, the bookstore will sell a copy of the book, "The Dreamstride."

Thieves Guild Questline
After returning the skeleton key to the Twilight Sepulcher and completing, "Darkness Returns," thieves guild armor, nightingale armor, potions, etc. will be stocked by the new merchants

Dark Brotherhood Questline
After killing the emperor and completing, "Hail Sithis," the dark brotherhood armor, robes, potions and the ultra-rare jarrin root will be stocked by the new merchants. Please note that only one jarrin root will be stocked by the Alchemist every 3 days.

The College of Winterhold Questline
After killing Ancano and completing the "Eye of Magnus," the Psijic robes, Archmage robes, focus gloves and other related College of Winterhold robes will be stocked by the tailor.

Once the prerequisite event has occurred, go to Winterhold and pray at the Shrine of Jhunal, once done the merchants will begin to stock the new items. I welcome suggestions or requests for additional vanilla gear to be added to the merchants. With version 1.8, a "mod" merchant was added, Vithar, who will sell items unique to this specific mod and any additional gear that users of the mod made requests for. You can also invest in the shops of the new merchants.

--The NPCs--

I've added detailed AI packages to all of the new NPCs in Winterhold. Please note that none of the vanilla NPCs have been touch by this mod in any way. The new NPCs will do their jobs, cook, clean, chop wood, carry buckets, carry firewood, train with the combat dummies, and a wide variety of other tasks. They will be more immersive and have more daily tasks than most of the vanilla and DLC NPCs, if you have ever used Immersive Citizens - AI Overhaul SE, then you will know what I mean. Even the children will do activities that are on par with those featured in the Hearthfire DLC. This mod also features 8 potential marriage and follower options:


Fenrir (2-Handed Warrior)
Freyja (Paladin)
Fulla (Mage)
Hel (Necromancer)
Jormungandr (Dual Wielding Rogue)
Ullr (Archer)
Urdr The Fateweaver (Spellblade)
Vithar (Nightblade)

You can get on their good side by giving them gifts to open up those options with the exception of Urdr who gets unlocked after buying Urdarbrunnr  

Each follower has been set to essential, their levels scale with the player and they don't have level caps - they can and will outperform the vanilla NPC followers as a result because most of the vanilla NPCs have level caps. They also have the lightfoot perk to avoid traps and will not affect your stealth meter when you sneak. This mod also adds a husky follower who wanders town and the area near the fishery and the fishing docks, along with a spell to summon him. He is set to essential just like the followers and has the same stealth perks.

--The Stables--

You can buy a horse from the stables near the inn. The new horses scale with the player's level, are set to protected and will also assume the physical likeness of Frost. What does that last bit mean? It means that if you have any mod that edits Frost's appearance, the mod will also alter the horses' appearance. If you don't have any mods that directly edits Frost then the Winterhold horses will assume the appearance of the Solitude's Palmiro horses. If there isn't any mods or texture replacers that affect those Solitude horses then the Winterhold horses will simply look like vanilla Solitude horses. Please see the pictures on the mod page for comparisons of the horses with different Frost mods installed. Here are a few example Frost mods to choose from, however, some may require conversion to Special Edition:

I've just released a new mod, PermaFrost which gives you more options to better customize the appearance of the Winterhold horses to your own liking.

--The Player Homes--

After becoming the Thane of Winterhold, pray at the Shrine of Jhunal, doing so will unlock more dialogue for the Jarl's Steward to sell two new player homes - Urdarbrunnr, a two storey noble home, which stands in the heart of the city and Frostwind Perch, a single storey upper class home, which can be found at the docks near the Fishery. Frostwind Perch is designed for those who prefer a minimalist vanilla-styled home with just the basics in terms of personal storage, bookcases, crafting furniture and vanilla weapon racks, while Urdarbrunnr has a number of unique features in addition to what's typically found in vanilla player homes. Urdarbrunnr contains custom displays for several of the artifacts that you will encounter throughout your playthrough like unique books, weapons, armor, jewelry, dragon claws, dragon priest masks and more. It features an alchemy and enchanting station, the spider scroll and staff crafting stations added by the DLCs in addition to a custom crafting station that disenchant items and reverses smithing improvements. It also features a few custom crafting tools with more to come. Urdarbrunnr's basement contains all of the necessary crafting stations for smithing, its own Atronach Forge and planters to grow up to 30 plants. There are also small pools located at the basement available for those who use bathing mods.

On purchasing Urdarbrunnr, you will unlock your housecarl, Urdr the Fateweaver. She is a college mage who has access to a wide variety of utility spells but specializes in casting frost destruction spells and conjuring frost atronachs. She will switch to a combination of one handed weapons and wards whenever enemies are within melee range. She can dual wield when necessary and will make use of two handed weapons as well.

--The Menu System--

The mod now allows players to make tweaks to a few of this mod's features via a menu system. Equipping an Amulet of Jhunal and praying at any of the Shrines of Jhunal or Shrines of Kyne will grant access to the menu. You can typically find these amulets near these shrines or one can be purchased from Vithar, a high elf merchant who sells unique loot that are exclusive to this mod. The menus will allow players to do the following:

  • Disable and enable the mannequins at the Urdarbrunnr player home. It's recommended to disable the mannequins should the player decides to invite other NPCs to the home.
  • Allows players to increase or decrease the number of child beds and follower beds in the home. By default the home has 2 child beds and 4 follower beds but this can be flipped to 6 child beds or 6 follower beds if the player choses.
  • Grants players the ability to deactivate or reactivate the Quest Reward system, the feature that allows merchants to sell items connected to quests and questlines.
  • Offers the ability to give a bonus 10000 septims to the new merchants should players desire the ability to sell more loot without having to leave the Hold to do so. Please note that this setting is disabled by default.
  • Gives the ability to enable or disable extra lights in Winterhold, perfect for those with mods that makes Skyrim's nights even darker.
  • Adds the ability to disable or enable the Nordic walls and entrances to the city proper. Please note that should players decide to disable these walls, wall LODs will still be visible at a distance. Please download and enable the "Winterhold Restored - Disabled Nordic Walls LODs" file in the download section - it contains new LODs without walls that will override the LODs within the BSA that has walls.

--The Scripts--

The scripts included in the mod are fairly simple and are loosely based on scripts that already exist in the vanilla game: they "fire" when needed and "sleep" when not. They don't run perpetually in the background every few seconds, don't run every time you load the game or load a cell like certain scripts in other mods. Each script has been named appropriately to easily hint its purpose and shares a "MWR" prefix in its name to help with debugging if needed.

.::Requirements, Installation and Updating::.


  • Skyrim - Latest Version
  • Dawnguard
  • Hearthfire
  • Dragonborn


Install the mod manually or virtually with your preferred mod manager. The mod will update automatically in-game soon after you load a save with the mod enabled (this will only occur once). Wait for the update to complete, then travel to Winterhold to see the changes and pray at the Shrine of Jhunal in the center of town to dynamically patch the mod with the other mods in your load order.

If you're already playing the game and would like to install the mod mid-playthrough then do the following: Head to and enter an interior cell like an inn or house in a distant hold like Markarth, make a hard save, then close the game. Once you've loaded a save with the mod enabled, then the mod will update automatically (this only occurs once), after it is done updating then wait for at least 30 in-game days before you head back to Winterhold. Thankfully, you can use the Better Sleep Wait Menu mod to make this part less annoying. If you don't like the mod then uninstall it and rollback to a pre-install save and be sure to delete any/all post-install saves even the autosaves. Don't continue your playthrough with a post-install save that simply has Winterhold Restored uninstalled, you need to continue with a pre-install save because this mod has scripts.


Before updating to a new version, dismiss any of the new followers from this mod if they are following you, head to and enter an interior cell like an inn or house in a distant hold like Markarth, make a save, then close the game. Update the mod by reinstalling it with the latest version, ideally you should do this with a mod manager. Once you've loaded up the game wait for at least 30 days before you head back to Winterhold. You can use the Better Sleep Wait Menu mod to make this part of the process easier. Once in Winterhold, pray at the Shrine of Jhunal and wait for the in-game update to complete. Why do you have to wait for those 30 in-game days? Cells need enough time to reset all the objects that are stored within it, if I made significant changes to an interior or exterior cell(s) in the new update and you immediately went to Winterhold then it's possible that you won't see the changes immediately - this has nothing to do with the mod it's just how the Skyrim engine works. This is a good practice to adopt even if you don't use this mod, but use the other city overhauls that are still being updated by their authors.

.::Mod Compatibility::.

--Merging Plugins--

Please do not merge the plugins of the patches that are available in the download section. Creating a merged patch is fine as there's a key difference between merging plugins and making a merged patch.

--Compatible Mods--

  • Built-in compatibility with Hearthfire Multiple Adoptions.
  • Built-in compatibility with DynDOLOD.
  • Built-in compatibility with RS Children Overhaul and other child overhaul mods.
  • Built-in compatibility with Convenient Horses.
  • Built-in compatibility with mods that alter the appearance of vampires like Humanoid Vampires SE.
  • Mods that add NPCs to the city of Winterhold.
  • Mods that alter the interiors of the vanilla buildings in Winterhold.
  • Mods that, of course,  aren't related to Winterhold.

--Slightly Compatible Mods--

The following mods become fully compatible as long as my mod's esp file is loaded after their esp file or is positioned lower down your mod load order:

--Incompatible Mods--

The following mods are either slightly incompatible or completely incompatible with my mod:

--Redundant Mods--

Considering the scope of the mod, a few smaller mods will be redundant, offering you a chance to free up your load order for new playthroughs. Please don't uninstall them mid-game, doing so might screw up your game! This list is expected to grow with future updates:

  • Dragon Priest Replica Masks - If you're only interested in being able to enchant mage-friendly cloth versions of each or any one of the masks.
  • Ingredients in a Jar - My alchemist sells all of them.
  • Garm the Husky Companion SE - My husky uses the same white textures created by wrig675, has similar stats and perks and was created in a way which doesn't edit the vanilla Dialogue Follower quest because doing so tends to cause compatibility issues with other follower mods.
  • More Albino Spiders - The general goods store will stock these once the Dragonborn DLC is complete, also visit the Temple of Jhunal for free access to the spider scroll crafting station. Congratulations, you can finally do a viable Arachnomancer build!
  • Carriage and Ferry Travel Overhaul - My mod already adds a new ferryman to Winterhold, CFTO is only redundant if you're like me and only installed it because it added a ferryman to the city. CFTO is still superior though, as it adds several ferrymen, carriages and transport to several destinations.
  • Lootable Woodpiles - My mod comes with lootable woodpiles out-of-the-box, but if you use that mod for the other holds loading it before my mod will be fine without the need for a patch.

--Recommended Mods--

Please note that the following are not requirements - some were used in the screenshots while others will add more stability to your mod load order, even if you don't use this mod:

  • Real Mountains
  • Nordic Snow
  • Vivid Weathers
  • PermaFrost
  • A Merged Patch created with SSEEdit is recommended to increase compatibility between mods in general. You can learn how to create a merged patch here.
  • A Bashed Patch created with Wrye Bash could improve the likelihood of items from other mods becoming available for sale by my new merchants, provided that the mod authors added them to the appropriate leveled lists. You can learn how to create a bashed patch here.
  • BethINI is a fantastic tool that optimizes and tweaks your Skyrim INI files to run the game smoother and with less lag.
  • Dynamic Distant Objects LOD - DynDOLOD will improve the quality of the LODs in the game and will allow you to properly assign tree LODs that match your own tree mods via the use of tree billboards. You can learn how to set up DynDOLOD for your mod load order here.
  • Better Sleep Wait Menu will make it easier for you to wait the 30 days after mod updates.


Please do not upload my mod to other websites. Anyone can make a translation for this mod and my other mods without seeking my permission. The only thing that I ask is that you at least upload the translation to the Nexus. For those out there who own a website, then it's perfectly fine if you host the translation on other websites, but all I ask is that you please maintain a separate mod page for the translation here on the Nexus in addition to that copy on your website.


Special thanks to the authors of the following mods and/or modding resources for providing the assets needed to make this mod possible: