St. Fagan's is an open-air museum and has various historical Welsh farm houses and other erected in the grounds. This is one of my favourite places to visit that is fortunately for me, within driving distance of my home, completely free entrance. What makes it such a great place to visit is the fact that it is constantly changing as more and more attractions are added to its acreage which currently stands at around 100 acres - one of Europe's biggest open-air museums.
As an amateur photographer and videographer, I have more than enough to keep me occupied in St. Fagans and never tire of visiting!
In St. Fagans, the visitor can roam from building to building, and actually go inside and take a look. A member of the museum's staff are inside each building and he/she is really enthusiastic to share their knowledge with the visitor in English or Welsh. The are usually dressed in period costume of whatever time the building was in use.One can really see how the Welsh peasants used to live. Some of these cottages have only two rooms, one on the ground floor with beaten earth under foot, and a crude ladder leading to cramped sleeping quarters in the attic of a thatched roof. A sort of medieval open-plan if you know what I mean.
The image to the left is of the Workmen's Institute, moved stone by stone from Oakdale in Caerphilly where it had stood since 1916 to provide local miners and workmen with a place for social and cultural activities. I find it incredible that these buildings have been brought to the museum stone by stone from all over Wales, and there are often some that are work still under construction. What fascinates me is that I often see neat piles of stones that are numbered to ensure they each go back in the exact place they were in before being moved.
When they were originally built the cottages appearing in St. Fagan's were originally erected very quickly, because the builder would probably be staking a claim on the land that surrounded it. The land was his as far as he could throw an axe. He could keep the land providing he could build on it over-night and have smoke pouring out of the chimney by daybreak. In the larger cottages, animals often lived inside with the occupants. These were usually built on a slope, so that the animal's waste products could drain away from the living quarters. It must have been very difficult living in those days if one had a delicate sense of smell! I have only touched on the many attractions that are on view in St Fagan's as to list everything it would take an entire website! If you would like to any more about this fantastic place, please use the link at the top left of this page to e-mail me. Other attractions of St. Fagan's include many more farmhouses and buildings, including the Welsh Long Houses. St Fagan's Castle (see picture heading this article), bee shelters, medieval pigsty, farmyard comlete with animals, pottery, sawmill, tannery, Welsh chapels and churches, schools, an environmentally (green) friendly house and much more.
Kennixton Farmhouse (17th Century) originally from Gower, South Wales reconstructed at St. Fagan's in 1955. The red paintwork is said to protect against evil spirits. Furniture inside with original furnishings.
Erected in St. Fagan's in 1972, from it's location in Powys where it was built in 18th Century. This currently has a working blacksmith that visitors can see at work.
Yours Truly outside Blaenwaun Post Office erected at St.Fagan's in 1993. Smallest post office in Wales!
Inside Blaen Waen Post Office in St. Fagan's Museum. As it looked during the Second World War. With both my wife and I in this building, it felt crowded!