Press Releases

Happy Christmas! New Play Area opens at St Fagans


Christmas has come early to St Fagans National Museum as a brand new outdoor play area, Yr Iard (The Yard), inspired by the museum’s collections, opened today.

The unique new play area at St Fagans National History Museum has been designed and developed by artist Nils Norman as part of the artist in residency programme at St Fagans. 

Funded by Arts Council of Wales and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the artist in residency programme has provided opportunities for artists to respond creatively to the St Fagans redevelopment project.

The play area which includes swings, a climbing frame, storytelling seating area and slide has been built by Green Play Project, and received additional support from Hobson Charity Limited.

The bespoke play area is unique to St Fagans, creating links with the collections, fostering creative and sensory play and makes use of natural elements.

Based in London, Nils’ work crosses the disciplines of public art, architecture and urban planning and he has completed major public art projects and playgrounds worldwide, including those in New York, Geneva, Denmark and London.

Alongside Nils Norman as lead artist, two other Wales-based artists, Fern Thomas and Imogen Higgins, worked with Nils on the project, assisting with research, preparing and delivering workshops with young people.

The artists consulted with staff, families, young people and children about ideas and researching and investigating the history and archaeology collections.

Siân Lile-Pastore, Senior Learning, Participation and Interpretation Officer, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, said,

“The new play area is a fantastic addition to improve the quality of play at the museum. Nils has taken a lot of inspiration from our collections and incorporated it into the play area design so that it is totally unique to this place. It’s quirky, fun and designed in such a way that children can enjoy creative play whilst fostering curiosity about the collections, buildings and the environment at St Fagans.”


Work continues at St Fagans National Museum of History as the site undergoes the biggest redevelopment project in the history of the Museum. This has been made possible by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Welsh Government and other supporters. St Fagans was awarded the largest grant ever given by the HLF in Wales in 2012 to help tell the stories of life in Wales over 200,000 years and more.

In October 2018, new galleries will open in the Main Building and Gweithdy, combining Amgueddfa Cymru’s history and archaeology collections for the first time. The range of objects on display will cover a 240,000 year time span including items from the collection which have never been on display before. 

Llys Llywelyn, a reconstruction of a court of the Princes of Gwynedd, will also be completed in October 2018. The reconstruction is based on two of the buildings excavated at Llys Rhosyr on Anglesey, north Wales, supported by architectural and historical evidence from other sites. These two majestic buildings based on evidence from the time of Llywelyn the Great, will provide visitors with a vivid insight into one of the pivotal moments in Welsh history. Once completed, schools from across Wales will, for the first time, be able to stay overnight at the Museum.



Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales operates seven museums across Wales including National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans National History Museum, the National Roman Legion Museum, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, the National Wool Museum, the National Slate Museum and the National Waterfront Museum.


Entry to all seven national museum is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Government.