Former saddler, Fred Clarke in his workshop
Former saddler, Fred Clarke in his workshop

Saddler's workshop

This simple two-roomed workshop was built by Alfred James in 1926. He was the third generation of his family to work as a saddler.

The building is timber-framed and clad and roofed with corrugated iron. The main room served as a shop with a small workroom behind. It was moved to St Fagans in 1985.

It took a lengthy apprenticeship to learn the craft of saddlery, and required mastery of a wide range of tools, great skill and much experience. There were three specialised branches of the craft, namely harness-making, collar-making and saddle-making.

The late Fred James, who was the last member of the family to work the craft, combined the dwindling trade of harness-making with boot and shoe repairing, and the back room of the workshop became an informal meeting place for many of his customers.

Saddlers Workshop Map Plot

Building facts:

  • Original Location: Pen-pitch, St Clears, Carmarthenshire
  • Date originally built: 1926
  • Dismantled and moved to St. Fagans: 1985
  • Date opened to the public: 1988
  • 29th building opened to the public at the Museum
  • Visiting information