Press Releases

Exciting Developments at St Fagans: National History Museum

As Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales prepares for its centenary next year, exciting developments are taking place at one of its most popular museums in St Fagans.

With over £3.5 million being invested at the museum over the next few years, St Fagans: National History Museum, will be developed to tell the stories of the peoples of Wales through the ages. The first step in this work is the exciting new exhibition, Perthyn:Belonging, in Oriel 1, one of the museum's indoor galleries.

Opening in March 2007, Perthyn:Belonging is a totally new way of using Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales's social history collections. Oriel 1 is an exciting and experimental exhibition space and a chance for the museum to work hand in hand with visitors.

These developments also respond to one of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales's Vision for the next ten years, developing ideas for a national history museum for Wales in the future, and it is also an integral part of the development of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and a world class museum of learning.

Beth Thomas, Keeper of Social & Cultural History at St Fagans: National History explains:

"Perthyn:Belonging is the first opportunity we've had in years at St Fagans to experiment with new ways of interpreting our collections. Curatorial ideas and visitor expectations have changed considerably, and we're looking forward to being able to interpret Wales' social history in a different way.

“Through Oriel 1 we hope to work with communities from all parts of Wales to create displays which will challenge stereotypes and encourage people to respect each other's languages, beliefs and customs," she added.

St Fagans' famous archive will be an important part of the exhibition and staff are already working on the exciting plans which will link questions about the historical houses with the collections on show at Oriel 1. With thousands of tapes, films, photographs and memories in the archive, staff will be spending the next few months researching and choosing items to be included in the exhibition. Therefore, the archive's public enquiry service will not be available for the next few months.

This is the largest collections-based development to take place at St Fagans: National History Museum over the past few years, but Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales has invested £300,000 in a new gift shop and coffee shop over the past few months. Bwyty Bardi Café, a stylish Welsh-Italian coffee shop, opened its doors early in June. Other improvements at the Vale Restaurant and Gwalia Tea Rooms are likely to take place over the coming months.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales's centenary website will include updates on Oriel 1, all other developments at St Fagans and all our other national museums across Wales. For more information go to our 07 pages.

Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales is responsible for seven national museums in Wales – St Fagans: National History Museum, National Museum Cardiff, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.

Entry to all Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales sites is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.