Museums in Wales

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There are many different types of Museums in Wales to visit and the majority are FREE to enter.

Please make sure you take time out to visit and enjoy the many Museums we have here in Wales when on your holiday or vacation.

At the 1940s Swansea Bay Museum discover for yourself what life was like for civilians on the Home front during WWII. Barry War Museum and Group aims to research, preserve and promote the wartime history of the town and surrounding area. St Fagans National History Museum is one of Europe’s leading open–air museums and Wales’s most popular heritage attraction.
1940s Swansea Bay Museum | Museum | Museums | Swansea | Wales | UK Barry War Museum | Museum | Museums | Barry | Wales | UK St Fagans | Museum | Museums | Cardiff | Wales
Experience the sights and sounds of an air raid, see how people lived at that time and find out what you could eat with a week rations. Many people have heard of the London ‘Blitz’, but there were many places including ports and industrial towns of South Wales which were also targets for the German Luftwaffe. 1940s Swansea Bay tells the story of the impact of the bombing raids on the area, and how the local people managed to cope with the devastation. We aim to support schools and groups researching the local war history of Barry and surrounding area, by exhibiting at heritage events and holding exhibitions about the topic, with the aim of educating the public. We also seek to learn more about this fascinating subject from those who lived through the area’s wartime history. We hold living history events and exhibitions around Barry and the surrounding area. Open to the public since 1 November 1948, the museum stands in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle and gardens, a late 16th-century manor house donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth. Since 1948 over forty original buildings from different historical periods have been re-erected in the 100-acre parkland, among them houses, a farm, a school, a chapel and a splendid Workmen’s Institute. This is one of the museums in Wales where you can step back in time with a walk down a street.
The Regimental Museum of The Royal Welsh has one of the finest collections of military artefacts. Big Pit National Coal Museum is the most popular attraction within the Blaenavon World Heritage Site. The National Waterfront Museum at Swansea tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years.
Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh | Museums | Museum | Brecon | Wales | UK Big Pit Museum | Museums | Museum | Blaenavon | Wales | UK Waterfront Museum Swansea | Museums | Museum | Swansea | Wales | UK
These tell the story of a regiment that has participated in many places of the great events of British History in the last 300 years. The focal point of the museum is the Zulu War Room. The exploits of the 24th Regiment during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War are legendary. We have one of the finest collections of firepower that traces the development of soldiers’ weapons from the 18th Century to the present day. Other displays cover the involvement of the South Wales Borderers, Welch Regiment and Monmouthshire Regiment in the two World Wars. Many of the items have interesting, compelling and unusual stories to tell. The museum is based around the former Big Pit Colliery, which was sunk in about 1860 and closed in 1980. The site reopened as a museum in 1983 and is now known around the world, especially after winning the Gulbenkian Prize for museums of the year in 2005. A visit to Big Pit includes a 300ft (90m) descent into the old colliery, where a former coal miner will take you on a fascinating and personal tour with the sights, sounds and smells of the mine creating an impression of what working life was like at the coalface. Our vast industrial and maritime heritage is ready to explore via cutting-edge, interactive technology married with traditional displays. It means a unique, captivating and involved visitor experience lies in wait at Wales’s newest national museum.
The National Slate Museum is sited in the Victorian workshops built in the shadow of Elidir Mountain, site of the vast Dinorwig Quarry. At the National Museum Cardiff discover art, natural history and the geological evolution of Wales. Swansea Museum is the oldest museum in Wales.
National Slate Museum | Slate | Museums | Museum | Wales | UK | Cardiff Museum | Museums | Museum | Cardiff | Wales | UK Swansea Museum | Museums | Museum | Swansea | Wales | UK
Here you can travel into the past of an industry and a way of life that has chiselled itself into the very being of this country. Dinorwig Quarry closed in 1969. Today rather than fashioning wagons and forging rails the workshops tell a very special story: the story of the Welsh slate industry. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest. The museum has collections of archaeology, botany, fine and applied art, geology and zoology. The collections contain all kinds of objects from the past of Swansea, Wales and the rest of the world. The Museum now provides free access to six galleries with a variety of exhibits from an ancient mummy’s tomb to temporary exhibitions on current issues and modern interests.
Built in 1824, Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery – described as the most impressive monument of the Industrial Iron Age in South Wales – was once home to Ironmaster William Crawshay II and his family. Brecknock Museum is housed in the grade II* listed former Brecknockshire Shire Hall and Assize Court. At the National Wool Museum you will find out how Wool was historically the most important and widespread of Wales’s industries.
Cyfarthfa Castle | Museums | Museum | Merthyr Tydfil | Wales | UK Brecon Museum | Museums | Museum | Brecon | Wales | UK Wool Museum | Museums | Museum | Carmarthenshire | Wales | UK
It serves as a reminder to the Ironmaster’s dominance over the town and the wealth the iron industry brought to the area. Now home to a fantastic collection of artefacts spanning 2000 years of Merthyr’s history, the Museum houses the first steam whistle, the first voting ballot box and dresses by Laura Ashley and Julien McDonald. It was built in 1842 by the architects Wyatt and Brandon and is one of the finest examples of early Victorian “Greek revival” architecture in Wales. It has housed Brecknock Museum since 1974 and has galleries displaying Archaeology, Art, Rural Life, Town Life and the re-interpreted Victorian Assize Court scene. The picturesque village of Dre-fach Felindre in the beautiful Teifi valley was once the centre of a thriving woollen industry, earning the nickname ‘The Huddersfield of Wales’. Located in the historic former Cambrian Mills, the National Wool Museum is a special place with a spellbinding story to tell. Re-opened in 2004 following major re-development, this flagship museum is a new and exciting place to visit with something for everyone to enjoy.
The National Roman Legion Museum is a museum in Caerleon, near Newport, south-east Wales. Chepstow Museum displays the rich and varied past of this ancient town, once an important port and market centre. The Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum is housed in two towers of Caernarfon Castle.
Roman Legion Museum | Museums | Museum | Caerleon | Wales | UK Chepstow Museum | Museums | Museum | Chepstow | Wales | UK Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum | Museums | Museum | Caernarfon | Wales | UK
It is one of three Roman sites in Caerleon, along with the Baths museum and the open-air ruins of the amphitheatre and barracks. Wales was the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire. In AD 75, the Romans built a fortress at Caerleon that would guard the region for over 200 years. Step back in time and explore life in a far-flung outpost of the mighty Roman Empire. There are displays of Chepstow’s wine trade, shipbuilding and salmon fishing as well as photographs, programmes and posters recalling the pastimes of local people. The 18th and 19th century paintings and prints illustrate the everlasting appeal of Chepstow and the Wye Valley to artists and tourists alike. The Museum is just across the road from Chepstow Castle in an elegant 18th century house built by a prosperous Chepstow merchant family. The building is named Gwy House and has fascinating tales to tell about prominent people in Chepstow’s past. In it you will find a wealth of original exhibits, supported by film, sound and models, which tell the story of over 300 years of service by Wales’s oldest infantry regiment, in peacetime and in war, all around the world. You can learn how the Regiment won 14 Victoria Crosses and hear the words of the famous writers who served with the Royal Welch during the First World War – Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves, “Hedd Wyn”, David Jones and Frank Richards. You will see what life was like for the ordinary soldier and his family and discover the Regiment’s unique traditions.
Swansea Bus Museum restores, operates and displays buses of public transport companies of South and West Wales. The National Cycle Museum is home of over 260 cycles from an 1816 Hobby Horse, Victorian solid-tyred machines, classic lightweights to the latest carbon-fibre designs. The South Wales Miners Museum officially opened in 1976 and was one of the first mining Museums in Wales.
Swansea Bus Museum | Museums | Museum | Bus | Swansea | Wales | UK National Cycle Museum | Museums | Museum | Cycles | Llandrindod Wells | Wales | UK South Wales Miners Museum | Museums | Museum | Mining | Port Talbot | Wales
Our impressive collection consists of vehicles from South Wales Transport (SWT), its acquisitions, successor and other companies, including United Welsh, Morris Bros., Rees & Williams, Swan Motor Co., Neath & Cardiff (N&C), Llynfi, Red & White and London Transport. The museum also contains a collection of Scammell mechanical horses and military vehicles including Land Rovers and a Green Goddess fire engine. We’re open to the public every Sunday between 11am and 4pm. The museum is the National Cycle Museum for the UK and is one of the leading cycle museums in the world. Displays of cycles from the museum have featured at various important places and events, including Hampton Court Palace, The Cycle Show, The Royal Welsh Show, etc. The museum has also been shown on National TV. Explore our website to find out more about us, there is something for everyone interested in cycling as well as those who enjoy discovering social history and design of objects over the last 200 years. Visit us and see some amazing displays that will impress you. The Museum is located within the beautiful Afan Valley six miles from the town of Port Talbot and is one of the many attractions to be found within the Afan Forest Park. The Museum is a registered charity and is run and managed by volunteers dedicated to promoting Industrial Heritage in the Afan Valley. All admission charges and donations go towards the running and maintenance of the Museum. Visit the Museum and find yourself being taken on a historical journey back in time. The Museum portrays the working life of a miner and the hardship adults and children had to endure. The Museum is made up of both indoor and outdoor exhibits. Outdoor exhibits include a the Blacksmith Shop, Lamp Room and an Engine House.
The Conwy Valley Railway Museum is located in the beautiful village of Betws-y-Coed adjacent to the British Rail station. Pontypool Museum is an Accredited Museum managed by Torfaen Museum Trust set in a Georgian stable block. The Airworld Aviation Museum is located on the airfield of the former RAF Llandwrog.
Conwy Railway Museum | Museums | Museum | Railway | Conwy | Wales | UK Pontypool Museum | Museums | Museum | Pontypool | Wales | UK Airworld Aviation Museum | Museums | Museum | Caernarfon | Wales | UK
A miniature railway takes you on a 8 minute trip around the beautifully landscaped grounds. If you are lucky you may see wild rabbits grazing by the pond. Trains run most days. In the season and every weekend there will be a steam engine pulling the train – at other times a diesel engine will be in service. For a different view of the site take the fifteen inch gauge electric tramcar – the only one in Wales. As this is a larger vehicle it is suitable for those with mobility problems. The Trust have been safeguarding and collecting art, historical objects and cultural artefacts on behalf of the borough since 1978. There are over 15,000 items on view from our collections ranging from prehistoric objects and medieval treasure troves, to industrial revolution collections, and fine & decorative art including the famous Pontypool Japanware. With seasonal exhibits, exclusive art events, an extensive library specialized in local content plus our world famous collections of Pontypool Japanware; Torfaen Museum Trust is looking after the Eastern Valley’s history for future generations. The museum has an impressive collection of aircraft and aviation memorabilia including a D.H. Vampire, Hawker Hunter F1, Hawker Sea Hawk, Westland Whirlwind and BAE Harrier. The museum was established in 1988 and is now run as a Charitable Trust. Like many museums it relies on admission fees, shop sales and kind donations for the rent and upkeep of the premises, staff wages and the exhibits.
At the Anglesey Transport Museum walk back in time and see over 100 gleaming classic vehicles from the 1920s onwards. Abergavenny Museum is set in the grounds of a ‘ruined’ Norman Castle, where you can enjoy a picnic during the summer and a brisk walk on colder days. Ceredigion Museum is a living mediator between the past and present.
Anglesey Transport Museum | Museum | Museums | Transport | Anglesey | Wales Abergavenny Museum | Museums | Museum | Abergavenny | Wales Ceredigion Museum | Museums | Museum | Ceredigion | Wales | UK
Set in a replica of a 1940s cobbled village street, you can view an assortment of vehicles including motorbikes, cars, vans, military and agricultural vehicles some of which have even been used in films and TV programs. We are one of Anglesey’s largest tourist attractions and museums with a Café, Caravan site and play area on the site. The museum building was formerly a hunting lodge built by the Marquess of Abergavenny. The displays tell the story of this historic market town from prehistory through to the present day. The displays are on several levels, with some help most areas are accessible to wheelchair users. We aim to reflect the history of the county through material evidence. A temporary exhibition programme of artefacts and art from Ceredigion, and around the world, are displayed throughout the year. The museum reflects the local cultural life of Ceredigion and has branch exhibition spaces in many of its towns and villages.
The Royal Mint Museum has one of the finest collections of coins, medals, artwork and minting equipment in the world. Cynon Valley Museum & Gallery opened in 2001 and is situated in Aberdare which is located in the Cynon Valley. The Tin Shed Experience houses a collection of artifacts from 1914-1945.
Royal Mint Museum | Coins | Money | Museums | Llantrisant | Wales Cynon Valley Museum | Aberdare | Wales | Museums | Gallery | Museum Tin Shed Experience | Museums | Laugharne | Wales | War
A living and working collection, it reflects the changing practical needs of the Royal Mint and is widely respected for the knowledge of its staff and the quality of its research. It is a collection about how money is made and how the Royal Mint has evolved over the last 1100 years. The Museum was developed with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and is one of a few museums that is actually situated on the site of a 19th century Ironworks. The museum and gardens also double as a location for filming and as a performance venue. The concept came to be through a mixture of elements. Redundancy, hard work, determination, community spirit, great support and of course Tin! In our fourth year we realised our potential for schools and colleges as well as tourism and therefore will be inviting teachers and lecturers to bring their students and get involved.

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