Bryn Eryr Iron Age Farmstead now open at St Fagans
Bryn Eryr, the Iron Age farmstead at St Fagans National History Museum, is now fully open to the public. The building, which is based on an archaeological site from the time of the Roman conquest, is a recreation of a small Iron Age farmstead near Llansadwrn in the eastern corner of Anglesey.
This rural settlement consists of two roundhouses built with six-foot thick clay walls and large conical thatched roofs.
The farmstead was built with the help of hundreds of volunteers, school children and members of neighbouring communities in Ely and Caerau. Together with the Museum’s own building team, they raised up the clay walls, helped to interpret the history of the houses and rediscovered the lives of its original inhabitants.
Escorted school groups have been visiting Bryn Eryr for the past year but now the general public will have access to the site due to the end of the construction work of the main woodland path.
St Fagans National History Museum is undergoing the biggest redevelopment project in the history of the Museum. This has been made possible thanks to 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.
David Anderson, Director General Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, said:
“Our volunteers, school children and members of neighbouring communities in Ely and Caerau can be very proud of Bryn Eryr. It is thanks to them and our own building team that we are able to open this important addition to St Fagans Museum to the public this summer.
“The reconstruction of this exceptional lost building from Anglesey, using archaeological evidence, is a significant part of the redevelopment of St Fagans.
“For the last five years, we have been communicating the value of the redevelopment project for the people of Wales and beyond. With the opening of Bryn Eryr, our visitors now have a place to hear ancient stories, learn traditional skills and share experiences with their friends and families.”
Paul, a volunteer with the Historical Buildings Unit at St Fagans, who worked on Bryn Eryr, said,
“I wasn’t very well when I first came but I soon got a smile back on my face due to the wonderful staff who made me feel normal again. My confidence grew more and more all the time. Although I am only a volunteer I feel like one of them. It’s been great learning things, some of it fascinating.”
(for more on Paul’s Story please visit https://museum.wales/takepart/volunteering/meet/
Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales
“The reconstruction of Bryn Eryr has been years in the making, with attention paid to even the smallest of details to ensure the finished farmstead would be as authentic as possible. It’s pleasing to note that hundreds of volunteers have given up their time to help make this reconstruction possible and engage in our heritage – and they deserve a special thanks for their dedication.
“This is the first building to be completed as part of the Making History project at St Fagans, made possible in part thanks to the £11.5million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, money raised by National Lottery players. I cannot wait to see the other buildings and exhibition spaces completed – it will ensure that St Fagans will be better than ever, helping tell the Welsh story to the world.”
There will be free family drop-in activity sessions about Bryn Eryr, life in an Iron Age farmstead during the school summer holidays
Mon 25 - Sat 30 July 12-3pm.
Mon 8- Sat 13 August 12-3pm.
Mon 22 - Sat 28 August 12-3pm.
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales operates seven museums across Wales including St Fagans National History Museum, National Museum Cardiff, 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 museums is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Government.