St Fagans National History Museum. Source Wikimedia Commons. Image credit Adrian Platt

Writing in WalesOnline on 14 January 2012, Clare Hutchinson reports that –

Plans for a £24m makeover of Wales’ best-loved history museum have been revealed by National Museum Wales director general, David Anderson. If they go ahead, the changes to St Fagans National History Museum will be some of the most radical in the Cardiff- based centre’s 63-year history.

The plans include a large- scale renovation of the main entrance building to make space for two new permanent exhibitions – covering Wales from 230,000BC to the present, and looking at the ways in which people have lived. A new building will also be built on the site of the current Celtic village, which will be moved to another site at the museum. The building will house a “hands-on” exhibition looking at the relationship between humans and the environment and will use apprentices and volunteers to bring back to life traditional skills.

The plans also include an ambitious project to reconstruct the Great Hall of the palace of the Llywelyn princes of Gwynedd – based on foundations discovered in an archaeological dig on Anglesey. Volunteers and students will help reconstruct the 90 metre- long hall, which will be built in woods at the south-west end of the site. A Bronze Age tomb will also be constructed using techniques available at the time. The tomb will be sealed and excavated decades later to chart its rate of decay.

…two new permanent exhibitions would address areas of Wales’ history previously ignored by the museum, including the suffragette movement. The first – covering the “making of Wales” – will chart the nation’s history from 230,000BC, the date of the earliest Neanderthal teeth found in the country, in Pontnewydd Caves, Denbighshire, to the present. The second will look at ways of life, such as how people have viewed death over the years.

There will also be a focus on skills, with the museum recruiting apprentices, students and volunteers to learn traditional building techniques and to teach them to visitors.

Full article here.