Wednesday, 1 March 2017

St Fagans Welsh National History Museum

Happy Saint David's Day!  If you ever visit Wales, I recommend one place above all others to soak up Welsh history and culture - St Fagans National History Museum.  It's one of the top open-air museums in Europe.  The photos of my traditional Welsh costume were taken there.  A very fitting location!

St Fagans

"Open to the public since 1 November 1948, the museum stands in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle and gardens, a late 16th-century manor house donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth."

Across 100 acres of parkland, buildings of historical significance from all over Wales have been transplanted.  These include a church, a working men's institute, farmhouses, ironworkers' cottages, a shop, and a bakery.  All transported, brick by brick - a truly impressive undertaking.  At the moment, the Vulcan, a Victorian pub from Cardiff is being re-erected.  I'll pop along for a G&T as soon as it's open, I remember going to the Vulcan when it was standing forlornly and somewhat stubbornly in the city centre surrounded by car parks and high-rises, before it was taken down in 2012.  Good on St Fagans for rescuing it.

One of my favourite spots in St Fagans is the village centre.  There's a little clothing shop there done out as though it's in the 1940s.  Fascinating stuff, the shelves are stocked high with all kinds of vintage goodies!

St Fagans

St Fagans

St Fagans

St Fagans


St Fagans

St Fagans

I wish I could order a pair of those bow shoes!

If the location looks familiar, it might be because it was also the spot for my photo shoot with CiCiMarie last April.  What a beautiful Spring day that was.  Once the daffodils are out, you know that Spring really isn't that far away.  Having said that, it's not really a weather-dependent attraction as there's so much inside space, so winter visits are worthwhile too.  The visitor centre is currently under renovation, but you can always tuck yourself away in the vintage tea rooms on a rainy day.  

There are lots of events on throughout the year too; I went on a ghost tour last year.  It was a 'no gimmicks' ghost tour - no silly noises or people jumping out - just an immersion in the history of the buildings on the site.  One of the farmhouses has at least three separate ghosts.  Not surprising, it was built in 1734, so there's nearly 300 years of history within its walls.

Admission to the museum is free of charge too, so it really is a great option for a day out.  Do you have any open-air museums near you?  I've also been to the Black Country Living Museum, but that's the only other one I think!

Looking for a bit more of Wales?  Check out my post on Rhondda Heritage Park.


25 comments:

  1. Ah, this brings back memories <3 The little 40s clothes shop was the best! If only we could have pillaged it... those shoes with the little bows are just perfection. I can't think we have any museums like this near us, but I'm really glad I got to go this one. And on such an amazing spring day with awesome people ;) xx

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    1. We lucked out with the weather didn't we? Slightly hampered by our hangovers I think, but yes it was indeed a lovely Spring day!

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  2. Happy St David's Day!
    That looks such an interesting place, a bit like the Black Country Museum, which shockingly I've never been too!
    I love the window with the vintage tinned food and what I wouldn't give to have a rummage through those hats and try them all on.
    We've got crocuses but no daffs yet. Come along Spring. xxx

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    1. I can't believe you haven't made it to the Black Country Museum! It's really great, I recommend it. Spring is trying its best here, but for every day of sunshine there's at least three grey ones with rain!!

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  3. I love visiting here when we have the chance, we only live down the road :D

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

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    1. Ah, you must get to go quite often then!

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  4. Oh my word, look at those hats and shoes! Want!!!! I would diving over the counter if I saw them! xx

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    1. I think we're all just dying over the shoes with bows. Can we get some company to make us a batch?!

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  5. Happy St. David's Day! St. Fagans is just the place I like visiting. We do have have a similar museum here in Belgium. Haven't been there since I was in primary school (shame on me!). Oh, how I'd love to get my hands on those hats and shoes! xxx

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    1. Thank you! I did wonder if you had something similar in Belgium, there's definitely one in the Netherlands too.

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  6. That looks like such a good museum. I need to talk his nibs into crossing the Severn to visit it.

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    1. If you do pop over this way let me know, we could meet up for a cuppa and some Bara Brith!

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  7. Oooh it looks delightful! We don't seem to really have this type of open-air museum much in Australia, maybe because we don't have many old buildings, but I really love them. If I get further south on any Wales trips I'll have to keep it in mind!

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    1. Absolutely, keep me posted when you next make it to this fair land!

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  8. Wow what a lovely museum to visit! I actually took photos over the weekend for my blog in a museum similar with vintage style shops, church and homes! :)

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    1. I look forward to seeing your photos Camilla!

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  9. Such a pretty place! That's really wonderful that they are able to save old buildings and incredible how they can transplant the buildings and re-erect them! Love seeing all of these photos!

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    1. It's amazing isn't it how they can move buildings?! Fascinating!

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  10. You always visit the most interesting places- thanks for sharing them :)
    Also- whenever I go to museums and see all the vintage garments/hats/shoes/accessories I want to ask them, "So are you having a sale any time soon?" Haha! :)
    The Artyologist

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  11. Well this place sounds incredibly fun to wander around, I'll have to add it to my never ending list of places I want to visit!

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    1. I'm doing my bit for Wales tourism ;)

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  12. How beautiful! It's such a gorgeous location, and it looks like there's a lot to see and do there. That vintage shop alone sounds fantastic.

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