Tuesday, 24 August 2010

St Fagans National History Museum

Deep in the heart of South Wales is the St Fagans National History Museum. This open air museum is located just a few miles west of Cardiff and houses (no pun intended) numerous historical buildings and structures which have been relocated from all over Wales and been preserved here for posterity. Being a national museum admission to this fascinating site is free.

St. Fagans castle is original to the site and is a late 16th C house built in the remains of an earlier castle. In 1948 the house and the surrounding land were donated to the nation. The building is one of the finest and largest Eliabethan manor houses in Wales and is worth a visit in its own right. The interior is now mainly decorated in 19th C style although if you keep a sharp lookout you may spot late medieval bed showing a pair of jousting knights.

St. Fagans was also the location of an ECW battle. On 8th May 1648 an outnumbered Parliamentarian army, commanded by Colonel Thomas Horton, routed a 8,000 strong Royalist force. Part of the battle took place on the museum land.

We dashed around the 100 acre site but you could easily spend the day there. It was very useful to take note of construct methods and details such as the unglazed windows etc.

There were numerous places of interest including the Working Men’s Institute built, unusually, during the Great War and several reconstructed Celtic round houses. I would also recommend the food sold on site, in particular the Celtic Crunch ice-cream which was proved very popular with the local wasps.

As there is way too much stuff for a single post, I’ve decided to split the images and information into more manageable, bite-size chunks which I hope to post very day this week.