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.

Former saddler, Fred Clarke in his workshop
Former saddler, Fred Clarke in his workshop
Saddlers Workshop Map Plot

Building facts:

  • Original Location: Penpitch, St Clears, Carmarthenshire
  • Date originally built: 1926
  • Dismantled and moved to St Fagans: 1985
  • Date opened to the public: 1986
  • Visiting information