Project ClosedView all projects The reconstruction of Bryn Eryr, an Iron Age farmsteadArt Happens



By St Fagans: National History Museum, Cardiff


Ian Daniel

Iron Age interpreter

  • £25,000Needed
  • 32Funders
  • 0Days to make it happen
    This project did not reach its target

Our farmstead will offer a colourful insight into home life at the time of the Roman conquest.

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We didn't manage to hit our target – but this isn't the end of Bryn Eryr! A huge thank you to everyone who continues to support the reconstruction of our Iron Age farmstead.​ We have been fortunate in securing funds from the Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, which will help meet the funding gap. But we will not rest! We are still seeking gifts for the project, because the work is progressing and the farmstead is well on the way to opening in summer 2015 – the first element of a £26.6m capital project at St Fagans.​ To find out more and see the plans, please visit our website.


We're currently building Bryn Eryr, an Iron Age farmstead based on an Anglesey archaeological site from the time of the Roman conquest – and with the help of Art Happens funders, we'll be able to kit them out with Iron Age mod cons.

This rural settlement will consist of two roundhouses built with six-foot-thick clay walls and conical thatched roofs. With the help of volunteers, our specialist historic building team are raising up the clay walls using traditional construction methods. Where possible they're using replicas of Iron Age tools made by the museum’s resident blacksmith. The roof will be thatched with spelt grown in a field nearby. 

The homes in the settlement will be brought to life with the help of Art Happens; we'll be able to recreate Iron Age household goods, ranging from bronze cauldrons and Roman-inspired pottery to colourful textiles hanging on looms and decorative glass beads. These goods will be handmade by some of the finest craftspeople in Wales, as well as volunteers specially trained at the museum. When Bryn Eryr is complete, visitors of all ages will be able to discover the lives of its original inhabitants. 

The settlement is part of the St Fagans National History Making History Project, whose goal is to transform the much-loved museum into a space where visitors can follow the stories of the people of Wales, from the first human inhabitants to the present day.

Iron Age farmstead in progress St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff

Iron Age farmstead in progress

Latest updates

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  • September Threshing
  • 13 October 2014
  • By Ian Daniel
  • We spent hundreds of hours in September threshing the spelt so it can be used as a roofing material for Bryn Eryr. We started out by hand but the Industrial Revolution proved to be irresistible!

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  • Harvesting the spelt
  • 19 August 2014
  • By Ian Daniel
  • The walls are up and the spelt for the thatched roof has been harvested. Read on to find out the story of the spelt.

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