ICOMOS-UK Summer Outing & AGM

 Open Air Museums and Society

3rd-5th July 2009

at St Fagans National History Museum (near Cardiff)
Part of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

St Teilo’s Church, St Fagans © St Fagans: National History Museum
St Teilo’s Church, St Fagans © St Fagans: National History Museum

Some of the presentations are now available online – see below.

The 2009 ICOMOS-UK Summer meeting and AGM took place at St Fagans National History Museum, south Wales, in collaboration with Eurwyn Wiliam, our Vice President for Wales, former Director of St Fagans, Deputy Director General of National Museum Wales and latterly Keeper Emeritus, National Museum Wales.

The ‘first generation’ open air museums were set up in Scandinavia at the end of the 19th century. Over the next 80 years many others followed in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Eastern Europe and North America.

Set up to highlight the value of regional buildings which contribute so much to our national identity at a time when many vernacular buildings were becoming vulnerable to destruction or radical change, they became the repositories of ‘unspoilt’ structures which could be read as social documents, particularly of rural life before the industrial era.

The meeting included visits to the museum’s buildings, a concert in its painted, mediaeval church and a seminar discussing the vision, extraordinary diversity and benefits of open-air museums in Europe.


Friday 3rd July:

5.30 – 6.30 Drinks Reception at St Fagans

6.30 – 8.00 Informal Concert at recreated mediaeval church of
St. Teilo’s from Pontardulais, West Glamorgan

8.30 – 9.30 Supper at Iolo Morganwg restaurant, St Fagans

Saturday 4th July:

Seminar: Open-Air Museums and Society,
(Committee Room, St Fagans)

10.00 – 10.30 Coffee

10.30 – 10.40 Introduction and welcome

10.40 – 11.00 Dr Eurwyn Wiliam, Keeper Emeritus, National
Museum Wales: Open-air museums in Europe: a visionary idea

11.00 – 11.20 Gerallt Nash, Senior Curator, St Fagans National History Museum: Presenting recent history at St Fagans

11.20 – 12.00 Richard Suggett, Manager of the Emergency Building Recording Team, Royal Commission for Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales: Searching for the earliest houses in Wales

12.00 – 12.20 Dr Thomas Bloch Ravn, Director of Den Gamle By, Denmark’s National open air museum, Chair of the Association of Open-Air Museums: Open-air museums and society

12.20 – 12.45 Discussion

12.45 – 1.45 Sandwich Lunch Iolo Morganwg restaurant

1.45 – 4.15 Guided visit to St Fagans National History Museum

5.00 – 6.00 ICOMOS-UK AGM in the Committee Room (The Annual General Meeting is open to all members and their guests)

6.00 – 7.00 Optional Supper

Sunday 5th July:

Tour to the landscape of the Blaenavon World Heritage site

ICOMOS-UK visit to Blaenavon landscape

ICOMOS-UK visit to Blaenavon landscape

Download the flyer and booking form



For more information please contact:
Camilla Massara
Events Co-ordinator
Tel: 020 7566 0031
e-mail: camillamassara@icomos-uk.org

This event was organised in collaboration with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Walesamgueddfa cymru


New “Hidden Histories” series

Tuesdays at 7.30pm BBC2 Wales from 4 November

A new five-part television series following the investigative work of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. The Commission and the FBI are both 100 this year – watch the ‘Welsh bureau of investigation’ uncovering clues to our past.


4 November – Building Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Rediscovering a lost church in the Conwy Valley. The oldest gate in Europe?


11 November – Uncovering an Industrial Revolution copperworks in Swansea. Deciphering a ninth-century inscription. Revealing an Iron Age hillfort.


18 November – The Roman army at Trawsfynydd. Exploring social history with Huw Edwards at a great Llanelli chapel. Tracing Tudor master-carpenters.


25 November – Lumps and bumps in the uplands. A Victorian millionaire’s farm. Rediscovering wall paintings in the Wye Valley.


2 December – A disappearing mansion at Llandeilo. How would Wales have fought a Nazi invasion? Searching for a castle of the Welsh princes at Portmeirion.


Available on iPlayer at www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/


Blaenavon – new World Heritage Centre

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre

Blaenavon World Heritage Centre

The UK’s first dedicated World Heritage Centre has been officially opened in Blaenavon by First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan. The £2.7 million visitors’ centre tells the story of how Blaenavon helped to change the world during the Industrial Revolution and the international importance of World Heritage status.

Dan Clayton Jones, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for Wales, said:

“This project has helped turn Blaenavon’s fortune around and is a fantastic example of the positive impact lottery players’ money can have in terms of conservation and regeneration, bringing a sense of pride back into the community, attracting visitors to an area and helping a local economy thrive”

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