Capturing photographs of Cardiff has occupied me for years, but recent weeks have seen the opening of a new chapter.
At the start of July I moved into my ninth Cardiff property. Having lived in Cathays, Roath, Canton, Pontcanna and Heath from 1999 to 2006, my last six years have been spent in the Atlantic Wharf area between Cardiff City Centre and Cardiff Bay.
[Read the Composed blog: Cardiff Wildlife in Springtime]
St Fagans is my new Cardiff neighbourhood. It’s an area I knew relatively little about, except for its widely celebrated museum. The name of St Fagans is said to invoke Saint Fagan, according to William of Malmesbury, a missionary once sent to Wales but for whom there is no reliable evidence. There’s stronger evidence to suggest a historically significant Battle of St Fagans took place here in 1648.
The National History Museum of Welsh Life prides itself as being one of Europe’s leading open air museums and one of the most popular heritage attractions in Wales. It offers visitors the chance to ‘walk around Wales’ from Celtic times to the present day.
I last visited the museum around 12 months ago to photograph actor and writer Ben Miller for the BBC’s Coming Home ancestry series.
While the museum may dominate St Fagans physically, St Fagans village is full of other charms.
As I found on a recent explore of the area, St Mary’s Church is picture book perfect.
The traditional old pub the Plymouth Arms, complete with large rear beer garden to the rear, couldn’t look more inviting in these summer months.
Part of the Vintage Inns chain, the pub is said to have taken its name after the heiress of a local landowner married the Third Earl of Plymouth in the early 1700s. With easy access to Cardiff, the location was a popular stop-off for travellers in traditional handsom cabs.
Between St Mary’s Church and the Plymouth Arms snugly sits the Old Post House. This appears to be a beautiful venue for weddings and events, as well as a bed and breakfast.
[Read the Composed Images blog post: Oxfordshire wedding of Kate and Teddy]
As a new St Fagans photographer I’m looking forward to getting to know all these places a little better. There are plenty of walks to be had, from leisurely strolls through the parks and paths which weave around my suburbia a short distance from St Fagans village, to longer strolls beside the River Ely into the Vale of Glamorgan, and circular historic walks near the museum. There’s also a scenic cycle path all the way through to the city centre and Cardiff Bay.
St Fagans clearly holds plenty to explore and discover.
Please get in touch if you’d like to commission any photography services in and around St Fagans.
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