Explore the history of Wales by visiting the St Fagans National Museum of History when staying in the capital of Cardiff. This open-air museum is one of the heritage sites of the city. It will introduce you to the history, culture, and architecture of the Welsh people, making your stay at Cardiff more than well-informed.
The Museum is situated on the grounds of the St Fagans Castle. The late 16th century Elizabethan mansion was donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth. The National Museum of Wales is also located in the same area. On the grounds of the Castle, you will find beautiful gardens with fish ponds, fountains, a mulberry grove, and a bed of roses that adds color to the setting. The Italian Garden is one of the originals to the site, designed in 1902 and restored in 2003. The thyme garden is another original garden. These elegant gardens represent an important part of the history of the Welsh people complementing the setting with the historic buildings. Make sure you take a stroll as part of your tour.
Visiting the museum is like stepping into the past. More than 40 buildings have been rebuilt from different historical periods for visitors to relive the life in those times. Explore how the Welsh people lived, worked, and spent their free time in the farmhouses, the ironworker cottages, the medieval Saint Teilo's Church, and the Workmen's Institute. The interiors of the Church depict scenes from the bible such as the Last Supper and the story of Noah's Ark. Find also workshops where craftsmen elaborate on how they used to work traditionally, like a weaver working in an 18th-century mill or a miller producing flower in the 19th century. Meet the last working clog-maker in Wales and the blacksmith. They will make a demonstration to show the audience their traditional skills. All the produce is up for sale, too.
Food & Drink
The museum offers several options to eat or drink some traditional tea at the tea room. For lunch, they sell seasonal hot meals, using good quality products from the local area and mainly of Welsh origin. Enjoy the homemade bread and in-house cakes!
Good to know
Entrance to the National Museum of History is free. During Christmas, the museum hosts a farmer's market and Christmas night events with carol singing. Make sure to check the calendar on their website if you happen to be in the merry season. The Ely Valley Cross Boundary Walk is right by the museum grounds if you feel like taking a walk through the natural surroundings.
If you have seen Dr. Who, you might want to know that several episodes have been filmed at the museum. In addition, BBC series Poldark was filmed in one of the farmhouses.