A short journey from Cardiff, Cosmeston Medieval Village is a unique heritage project set within the peaceful Cosmeston Lakes Country Park. Since its discovery in the 1980s, the village has been carefully reconstructed, and is now populated with costumed villagers who give comprehensive tours all year round.
A cluster of historically accurate thatched-roof crofts, Cosmeston includes a Reeve’s house, a pub, medieval gardens, and a swineherd’s cottage complete with pigpen. The tithe barn is the largest building within the village, and includes a display of medieval weaponry and chain mail.
Each house has been rebuilt on its original foundations and is furnished as it would have been in 1350. As a working farm, Cosmeston Medieval Village is home to several rare breeds of farm animals that were commonly seen around Britain in the 14th century.
The original village was called Costentinstune after the De Costentin family, who were among the first Norman invaders in Wales. It would have consisted of a few small crofts built around the De Costentin manor house, a 12th-century fortification that had fallen into disuse by 1437.
There is little evidence of village inhabitation past the later Middle Ages, and theories as to why it was abandoned range from the Black Death to poor farming conditions.
Cosmeston Medieval Village hosts several special events throughout the year and, unlike many other museums, it encourages visitors to explore the buildings and to touch the tools, creating a memorable multi-sensory medieval experience.
Don’t miss: the surgeon’s display in the tithe barn.
Cosmeston Medieval Village, Lavernock Road, Penarth, Glamorgan CF64 5UY
tel: 029 2070 1678