Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

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The Oakdale Workmen's Institute, St Fagans
The National Museum, Cardiff

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, formerly the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, is an umbrella body which comprises seven museums in Wales:

In addition to these sites, the organisation runs Oriel y Parc, a gallery of Welsh landscape art in St David's, Pembrokeshire, in partnership with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.[1] The National Collections Centre in Nantgarw is AC-NMW's storage facility.


Poster by the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1876

The National Museum of Wales was founded in 1905, with its royal charter granted in 1907. Part of the bid for Cardiff to obtain the National Museum for Wales included the gift of the Cardiff Museum Collection, then known as "Welsh Museum of Natural History, Archaeology and Art," which was formally handed over in 1912. The Cardiff Museum was sharing the building of Cardiff Library, and was a sub-department of the library until 1893. It later moved to Cathays Park. The current Amgueddfa Cymru was founded around this institution, bringing other museums together.

The Antiquarian Museum was opened in Caerleon in 1850, became the National Roman Legion Museum when joining 'Agueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales'.

The Welsh Folk Museum was crated at St Fagans in 1948, and after a number of name-changes it became the St Fagans National Museum of History.

Of the industrial museums:

  • The North Wales Quarrying Museum opened in 1972, and was later renamed 'the National Slate Museum'
  • The Museum of the Welsh Woollen Industry opened in 1976, and is now the 'National Wool Museum'
  • Big Pit was opened in 1983, as part of the National Museum of Wales.
  • The Swansea Industrial and Maritime Museum became the National Waterfront Museum when federated with the other museums

The mueums and visitor numbers

In 2017 over 1.89m visitors attended the National Museum sites. The most popular site for 2017 was St Fagans and in 2016 the most popular attraction was National Museum Cardiff.

Museum visitor numbers[2]
Museum Visitor numbers (2017) Image
St Fagans National Museum of History Increase 553,090 St Fagans Museum Main Building 2018.jpg
National Museum Cardiff Increase 539,550 Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd.JPG
National Waterfront Museum Increase 268,622 National Waterfront Museum (19125415205).jpg
National Slate Museum Increase 145,969 National Slate Museum from above.jpg
Big Pit National Coal Museum Increase 141,969 Big Pit, Blaenavon.jpg
National Roman Legion Museum Increase 70,021 Amgueddfa'r Lleng Rhufeinig.JPG
National Wool Museum Increase 36,909 Welsh National Wool Museum.jpg
Source: Visits to Tourist Attractions in Wales 2017[2]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales)


  • Mason, Rhiannon: 'Museums, Nations, Identities: Wales and its National Museums' (University of Wales Press, 2007) p 256 ISBN 0708319726

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

National Museum CardiffSt Fagans National Museum of HistoryBig Pit National Coal MuseumNational Wool MuseumNational Roman Legion MuseumNational Slate MuseumNational Waterfront Museum