Saddler’s Workshop


This simple two-roomed workshop was built by Alfred James in 1926. He was the third generation of his family to work as a saddler. The building is timber-framed and clad and roofed with corrugated iron. The main room served as a shop with a small workroom behind. It was moved to St Fagans in 1985. It took a lengthy apprenticeship to learn the craft of saddlery, and required mastery of a wide range of tools, great skill and much experience. There were three specialised branches of the craft, namely harness-making, collar-making and saddle-making. The late Fred James, who was the last member of the family to work the craft, combined the dwindling trade of harness-making with boot and shoe repairing, and the back room of the workshop became an informal meeting place for many of his customers.

Building facts:

  • Original Location: Penpitch, St Clears, Carmarthenshire
  • Date originally built: 1926
  • Dismantled and moved to St Fagans: 1985
  • Date opened to the public: 1986
  • Visiting information