January 4, 2009

St. Fagan's Castle

Now that the holidays are over and things are settling back to a routine, I thought I would share some more of my UK adventures. I stayed with my ex-housemate and his two children in Cardiff and had the chance to visit the St. Fagans, the Museum of Welsh Life for the first time. (I'd actually been in their carpark about 10 years ago, but never made it inside.)
More than 40 buildings have been moved to the site, which is home to St. Fagan's Castle*, an unlikely melding of a Victorian house attached to a 14th century castle wall. The castle was owned by the Earl of Plymouth and his family, who used it as a summer home.

The castle sits high over the River Ely and the day we were there, the river and streams feeding were running wild after the recent snow and rain. Mostly we toured the gardens, and that's where most of my pictures were taken, since photography was forbidden inside the house... well, maybe I did take one or two inside, but I didn't use a flash.

This reminded me of the front porch at the house where I grew up! Staircase leading from the terrace above down to the weir in the picture below.
The lower garden, where archaeologists think that they used to trap fish in the 1500's.
Knot gardens, which must be gorgeous in the spring and summer.
Talk about Bleak House! Doesn't this look like it came right out of a scary Victorian novel?
I love the angle of this archway carved into the old hedge.
This is a rose bower, which must be stunning when it's in bloom. It was rather scary the day we visited.
Another formal garden. There are two of these on the seven hectare garden section of the Museum.
This is truly a golden gate. It leads to a private garden in the estate.
Another rose bower. This one is on the terraced gardens leading from the castle to the weir.
I love doors, walkways and gates. This is leading from the older part of the castle to the gardens.
To see all of the pictures from our outing to St. Fagan's, click here.

*The person who runs the Castles of Wales website lives just outside of Baltimore. Needless to say, I didn't discover his site until I moved to Wales.


  1. just beautiful - I would love to see the gardens in summer - those roses must be awesome in the spring!!! ok - why no pictures inside? scared of burglars? hahaha

  2. OH I miss traveling so much - need more money and time! Love these...

  3. The gardens do look pretty, even on one of those awful grey days.

  4. I really must make it to Wales. During a short 6 month stint in Oxford I made it all over England and most of Scotland but regrettably missed Wales entirely. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  5. Athenaeus... Wales is pretty much off the radar screen. Most people don't have ANY clue where it is. I liken it to the Appalachia of the UK due to the mining and poverty.

  6. Its hard to imagine the tremendous age of a Castle like this. Although is only 500 years old, its 200 years older than almost anything in North America.

  7. Toad... the castle in Wales where I worked was from about 1200! That was incredible.

  8. A real treat Meg. Thanks for sharing.

  9. how gorgeous! the rose bower is AMAZING!!! really wonderful post.

  10. Love these photos sooo much. I ache to be there!


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