The Oakdale Workmen's Institute was built in 1917 to serve as a focus for social, educational and cultural life within the newly established coal mining community there. It was funded by a loan from the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company, which the miners then repaid over the following years.

The building contains a Library, Reading Room, and Committee Room on the ground floor, and two small offices for the Institute's Secretary and Manager. A Concert Hall, originally seating more than 200 people, occupies the whole of the first floor. A separate, but linked, Billiards Room was housed in a flat-roofed building behind the Institute, on top of which (in 1927) was built a larger public hall, which was later adapted for use as a cinema.

The Institute closed in 1987 and two years later the building was dismantled and transported to St Fagans. The cinema was too large for the site and was not moved.

Exterior view of Oakdale Workmen's Institute
Exterior view of Oakdale Workmen's Institute at St Fagans National History Museum
Oakdale Map Plot

Building facts:

  • Original Location: Oakdale, Gwent (Monmouthshire)
  • Date originally built: 1916
  • Dismantled & rebuilt at St Fagans: 1989
  • Opened to the public: 1995
  • Visiting information

The 'Stute

The 'Stute is a prize-winning animation made by the animation company Cinetig with pupils from two South Wales schools. It celebrates the crucial role Oakdale Workmen's Institute had in the mining community and draws on oral testimony from the archives at St Fagans.