Posted by: travelrat | September 4, 2018

St. Fagan’s Castle

St Fagan's Castle

St. Fagan’s Castle: 29th August 2018.

One of the advantages of volunteering at Stonehenge is our annual outing, to somewhere of historical interest. This year, we went to St. Fagan’s Castle, near Cardiff, home of the National Museum of History, Wales.

But, it’s much more than a museum, or a castle. It’s set in extensive grounds, and our first sight was of a modern Visitor Centre, causing me to remark that was indeed a strange-looking ‘castle’. But, all around, there are traditional cottages and buildings, furnished as they would have been in bygone days. They were gathered from all over Wales; I described it as a sort of ‘historical Portmeirion’!

Of particular interest was the Iron Age roundhouse at Bryn Eryr. It was built on the same principle as our Neolithic Houses at Stonehenge, but it’s much bigger, with sturdier timbers … presumably, because they had discovered iron, therefore could chop down bigger trees.

At the Iron Age House, St Fagan's Castle

It’s actually two roundhouses, fused together in a figure-8 configuration. For privacy, or to separate the kitchen from the living quarters? That’s still anyone’s guess.

What I really wanted to see was the gardens, of which I’d read particularly good report. I wasn’t disappointed. From an ornamental lake, terraces led up to the Castle. But, it’s a castle in name only; it’s actually a Grade 1 listed Elizabethan manor house. It was, though, built on the site of a much earlier castle.

I wondered if the wall around the inner garden was once part of the castle? Or, maybe it was built later, using stone from the castle ruins?

Alas, I didn’t really have time to see inside … I don’t think there’s any way you can see everything in a day. So, it’s definitely worth a return visit.

St Fagan's Castle Gardens

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