South Gate at St Fagans

St Fagans in winter sunshine

Finally to finish off what (for me) was a rather satisfying shoot at the National Folk Museum in St Fagans, near Cardiff, a set of four images of “old friends” – some of the buildings that have been in the museum the longest. Apart from some cropping, none of these photographs has been altered in any way – the beauty of low angle, winter sunlight!

Starting with this one, which really takes me down memory lane. The toll house (at the bottom of the lane) was originally at South Gate, Penparcau, Aberystwyth – a long stones throw from where Jenny and I started our married life together in the little lodge cottage at Crugiau. As I recall, the toll house was in situ when we first arrived in Aber, but had been removed (on its way to St Fagans presumably) by the time we moved to the cottage. This view, is an unusual one for me; we nearly always walk up this lane with the toll house behind us on our way to the quarryman’s cottage (on the right) which is our favourite building at St Fagans. It’s also unusual in the fact that usually, in spring and summer, the view down the lane is obscured by the hedgerow in leaf.

Soth Gate in St Fagans


[EXIF: 1/80sec @ f/16; ISO 400; Sony ILCE-7R; Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA]

The next building, another favourite, is sort of about textures, but also about linkages between the house and the natural environment. The latter provides the materials for the former. Also, like the others in this selection, it’s unusual (for me) in that I haven’t tried to capture the whole building – which is the obvious temptation, but I’ve tried to extract texture from them.


[EXIF: 1/400sec @ f/8; ISO 400; Sony ILCE-7R; Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA]

The last two are attempts at unusual shots of familiar subjects. Near to the entrance to the museum, these buildings are much photographed, but with textures in mind, I looked for unusual (or at least different) angles to shoot them from.

Textures in walls, St Fagans


[EXIF: 1/100sec @ f/16; ISO 400; Sony ILCE-7R; Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA]

Textures, St Fagans


[EXIF: 1/250sec @ f/16; ISO 400; Sony ILCE-7R; Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA]

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at these as much as I enjoyed shooting them. I’ll be taking a short seasonal break from posting on the blog, but not shooting photographs – hopefully, so I’ll see you back here in the New Year. Have a Happy Christmas and a great New Year.

2 thoughts on “St Fagans in winter sunshine”

  1. Hi Dave, my favourite images from this collection are numbers 1 and 3. In the first photo there is such a variety of texture and warm autumnal colours, and the vivid green patch of grass draws the eye into the scene and invites the viewer to walk down the lane. This is a great photo!
    The third photo shows the strength of the stone built cottage and it highlights the contrast between the unpredictability of the dry stone wall and the solidity of the huge stones in the cemented wall. Great photos…please keep up the brilliant work!

    1. The first one brings back a lot of memories for us as the text details. When we first arrived in Aber. the toll house was still at Southgate. Between then and when we moved to Crugiau Lodge in 1972, it was removed to allow road improvements and of course moved to St Fagans. Did you look at the Streetview image of Crugiau? It was an idyllic cottage in which to start married life. Memories of the turkey farm outside our front door, now replaced by a housing development, and the strange quiet that fell over the neighbourhood in December. My mother painted the cottage and the picture still hangs in our porch today. Lovely time.

      I too love the third photo, textures, patterns, materials, angles – whatever. Juxtaposition, chaos – but order too.

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