St Fagan's Welsh Folk Museum , Cardiff.

St Fagan's Castle (built 1580)

About five miles to the west of Cardiff lies the St. Fagan's Folk Museum which is one of the largest open-air museums in Europe. If you like hearing about country life in Wales from the Iron Age to medieval times up until Second World War and up into the 1960s, then St. Fagan's can offer you over 100 acres of various attractions.

St. Fagan's museum has various historical Welsh farm houses erected in the grounds. Here, 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.

Kennixton Farmhouse (built 1610)
These buildings have been brought to the museum stone by stone from all over Wales. Originally these types of cottages were erected very quickly, because the builder would probably be staking a claim on the land that surrounded it. It was his as far as he could throw an axe. He could keep the land providing he could build 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. Smelly or what?

Workmen's Institute (built 1916)
St Fagan's Folk Museum is one of my favourite places to visit and I consider myself very fortunate to be able to get there in around half-an-hour from where I live. I have spend many a day just strolling around, taking photos and video of this remarkable place often taking a picnic as I sit back (sometimes) in the sunshine soaking up the atmosphere.

Stores and workshops still carry on a trade within the grounds and there is no shortage of stories about the remarkable history of the buildings in there.

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