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July 2011

Da na na na na... bat cam! bat cam!

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 26 July 2011
Lesser Horseshoe Bat - flying at the Tannery at night.
Lesser Horseshoe Bat - resting at the Tannery
Bat cam based in the Tannery Building at St.fagans.
A very blurry image of a young bat learning to fly. Look carefully, and you will see that its mother is holding onto it whilst it strengthens its wings. Come and see them for yourself!
» View full post to see all images

Come to see the St.fagans bat cam, where you can watch Lesser Horseshoe Bats and their babies. The camera is based in the Tannery buildings and can be viewed daily from April until October.

Better still, come along to one of our Explore Nature Activity Days when Hywel Couch will be at hand to answer questions on bats and birds.

Or if you would prefer to get out after dark, book yourself a place on our family bat walk.

Today, after installing some new Infra Red lighting to improve the image on the bat cam we were able to count 50 or so bats, 20 of which were babies born over the summer.

Last week, a team of bat experts attended a specialist course run by Wildwood Ecology. During the course they recorded 6 different types of bats living on site. Including: Lesser Horseshoe, Natterers, Serotine, Soprano pipistrelle, Brown Long Eared and the Daubenton's Bat.

#deddfuno roundup

Posted by Sara Huws on 26 July 2011

Just a quick post to say thanks very much to all who attended the #deddfuno debate, both in person and online! We had a great day, a refreshing debate and a chance to share new theories and research with a wider audience. If you'd like to catch up, you can find quotes from the day here.

Historian Nia Powell gave us plenty to mull over, as well as some very provocative propositions, and our multi-party panel was happy to get stuck in to the difficult topics which which they'd been presented. What could have been yet another debate along the same old lines was given a lease of new life.

You have until the end of the month to come and see the document itself, at the Making History 1500-1700 Exhibition. I'll let you know in due course what will be replacing the document. The only clue I'll give you now is that it might be something to do with this.

Free investigation pack for schools!

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 22 July 2011

Get out of the classroom! Join the 1000’s of school scientists taking part in this exciting investigation.

For more details visit:  

To take part complete the on-line application form and return to by the 31 July 2011

Special Event Tomorrow: Behind the Scenes with the Acts of Union

Posted by Sara Huws on 21 July 2011

Tomorrow, you are invited to come and join us for unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the most important document in Welsh legal history: The Acts of Union.

Parts of the document have left London for the first time since 1536, and are on display in our 'Making History 1500-1700' exhibition. They have been recalled from their recess, and will be going back to the Parliamentary archives soon. In light of this, we are calling an emergency debate of our own!

Figures from Welsh life will be leading the afternoon, including:

  • Suzy Davies

- Conservative AM for South Wales West, Shadow Minister for Welsh Language and Culture

  • Mark Drakeford

- Labour AM for Cardiff West

  • Dafydd Ellis Thomas

- Plaid Cymru MP for Dwyfor-Meirionydd, Chair of the Assembly Commission

  • Vaughan Hughes- Commentator and Broadcaster
  • Nia Powell
  • - Lecturer in Welsh History, University of Bangor
  • Baroness Jenny Randerson
  • - Welsh Liberal Democrat Member of the House of Lords
  • Eirug Salisbury
  • - Bard and Commentator
  • Rev John Walters
  • - Vicar of St Teilo's Church, Pontarddulais


We'll be exploring the role of the Acts of Union in the 21st Century, as well as the controversies they still raise. You're welcome to join us, as the day winds its way around many of Museum Wales' most iconic spaces - including St Teilo's Church at St Fagans: National History Museum.

Period music, light refreshments, after-hours access, simultaneous translation and a chance to explore the Act of Union up close are included, free of charge.

Meet at National Museum Cardiff foyer at 1.50pm tomorrow, as the afternoon session will take place in the Reardon Smith Lecture Theatre at 2pm.

This will be followed by a trip to St Fagans to see the document 'in the flesh', and to look at contemporary objects from our 'Making History' exhibition. A discussion will be held in St Teilo's Church, looking at the broader European context of life in Wales under Henry VIII.

Please call Heledd Fychan on (029) 20 57 3268 to reserve a place, as they are limited.

You will need to provide your own transport to St Fagans for the 'behind the scenes' session. Buses Nos 32 and 322 depart from Stand D2 in the City Centre, to St Fagans at regular intervals.

St Fagans Collections Manager - FIRST BLOG!

Posted by Dylan Jones on 1 July 2011

My name is Dylan Jones and I am the Collections Manager at St Fagans:National History Museum.  Apart from being responsible for the documentation at St Fagans I also look after the fishing and hunting collection which will be the main focus of my first blog.  It will cover the work / preparation for the fishing weekend at St Fagans later on this month.

Follow the blog as I finalise details for the weekend which will include Karl Chattington, Coracle maker from the Cynon Valley, lave netsmen of the Severn estuary demonstrating their unique fishing skills and Hywel Morgan giving a demonstration on fly fishing.  For the first time around the Netshouse we will also be preparing and cooking fish.  I hasten to add it will not be me cooking!

Karl is no stranger to St Fagans and over the years he has been a popular attraction on site demonstrating his coracling skills on the ponds at Easter and in the summer months.  Karl was part of the Welsh contingent that attended the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC in 2009.  It was at this particular festival Karl constructed a Tywi coracle within two weeks of the festival – no mean achievement considering the lack of tools / weather conditions.  Karl’s exploits at the festival can be read in a later blog.

I have already received some good news a few weeks ago with Martin Morgan, Secretary of the Blackrock Lave Net Fishermen Association confirming the presence of the fishermen at the festival.  Good news indeed as the netsmen are very popular and informative.  Beside showing the lave net Martin and his brother Richard will also bring with them fishing traps known as putchers and a putt which were once used on the Severn estuary until quite recently.  Keep reading the blog to learn more about these hardy and unique fishermen. 

Follow me on Twitter @CollectionsSF


  • National Museum Cardiff

    National Museum Cardiff

    Discover art, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

  • St Fagans National History Museum

    St Fagans

    St Fagans is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums and Wales's most popular heritage attraction.

  • Big Pit National Coal Museum

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    Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. With facilities to educate and entertain all ages, Big Pit is an exciting and informative day out.

  • National Wool Museum

    National Wool Museum

    Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell.

  • National Roman Legion Museum

    National Roman Legion Museum

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  • National Slate Museum

    National Slate Museum

    The National Slate Museum offers a day full of enjoyment and education in a dramatically beautiful landscape on the shores of Llyn Padarn.

  • National Waterfront Museum

    National Waterfront Museum

    The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.

  • Rhagor: Explore our collections

    Rhagor (Welsh for ‘more’) offers unprecedented access to the amazing stories that lie behind our collections.