St Fagans Castle

St Fagans Castle (Welsh: Castell Sain Ffagan) is an Elizabethan mansion in St Fagans, Cardiff, Wales, dating from the late 16th century. The house and remaining medieval fortifications are Grade I listed. The grounds of St Fagans Castle now contain St Fagans National Museum of History.

St Fagans Castle
Native name
Welsh: Castell Sain Ffagan
St Fagans Castle.jpg
The approach to St Fagans Castle
LocationSt Fagans, Cardiff, Wales
Coordinates51°29′09″N 3°16′04″W / 51.4859°N 3.2677°W / 51.4859; -3.2677Coordinates: 51°29′09″N 3°16′04″W / 51.4859°N 3.2677°W / 51.4859; -3.2677
Builtc. 1580s
Architectural style(s)Elizabethan
Listed Building – Grade I
Official name: St Fagans Castle
Designated10 June 1977
Reference no.13888[1]


A medieval castle dating from the 13th century previously existed on the site. By 1536 it lay in ruins. By 1563 the site had been sold to a Dr John Gibbon. A new house was built on the site either by Gibbon or by Nicholas Herbert, who bought the site from Gibbon in 1586.[2] Part of the D-shaped medieval boundary fortifications remain, forming a wall around the current house.[3]

Sir Edward Lewis of The Van, Caerphilly, bought the house in 1616 and the interior dates partly from then and partly from after 1850, when it became the summer residence of the Windsor-Clive family.[4] The property was part of the estate of the Earls of Plymouth and, in 1833, was inherited by Lady Harriet Clive who proceeded to restore the building.[5] The sequence of terraces in the gardens was created for the Windsor-Clives in 1865–6 and extended in the early 20th century.[4] The house became a convalescent hospital for soldiers during World War I, with the banqueting hall containing a ward of 40 beds.[6]

In 1947 the Windsor-Clives gave the house and grounds to the Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and the grounds subsequently became the site of the Welsh Folk Museum, now St Fagans National Museum of History.[7]

St Fagans Castle became a Grade I listed building in 1977.[1] The lead water cistern in the courtyard of the castle is Grade II* listed,[8] while a number of features in the gardens are listed as Grade II.[2]



  1. ^ a b "St Fagans Castle, St Fagans". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b St Fagans Castle Archived 2013-10-23 at the Wayback Machine, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  3. ^ Browne, D. M.; Griffiths, Prof R. A. (2000), Glamorgan: Later Castles, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, pp. 341–345, ISBN 1-871184-22-3
  4. ^ a b Newman, John (1995), Glamorgan, The Buildings of Wales, London: Penguin, pp. 561–2
  5. ^ "Death Of The Baroness Windsor". The Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian. 13 November 1869. p. 5 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "St Fagans 'hidden' gems give World War I insight", BBC News, 21 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-12.
  7. ^ Glamorgan: The Greater Houses, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, 1981, p. 246, ISBN 0-11-700754-4
  8. ^ "Lead Cistern in the east forecourt of St Fagans Castle, St Fagans". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 12 September 2013.

External linksEdit

  Media related to St Fagans Castle at Wikimedia Commons