St Fagans opened on 1 July 1948. Since then, it has established itself as one of Europe's foremost open air museums and become Wales's most popular heritage attraction. The Museum shows how the people of Wales lived, worked and spent their leisure time over the last five hundred years, and over the past fifty years it has inspired generations of visitors with its exploration of Welsh history and tradition. The Museum stands in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle, a late 16th-century manor house generously donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth.
The 100-acre parkland now has over forty original buildings, moved from various parts of Wales and re-erected to show how the people of Wales lived at various times in history.
The buildings include a school, a chapel and a splendid Workmen's Institute as well as several workshops where craftsmen demonstrate their traditional skills to the public. Their produce is usually on sale.
There are also large indoor galleries housing exhibitions of costume, daily life and farming implements. Special exhibitions are held at regular intervals. St Fagans literally comes to life when traditional festivals, music and dance events are staged throughout the year.
Native breeds of livestock can be seen in the fields and farmyards, and demonstrations of farming tasks take place daily. Visitors can gain an insight into the rich heritage and culture of Wales, and the Welsh language can be heard in daily use amongst craftsmen and interpreters.
In the grounds of the Welsh Folk Museum is a multi-gabled Tudor building, really a fortified mansion which retains within its walls some of the stones of an early fortress building by Sir Peter le Sore.