Amgueddfa Blog

The Craft group of volunteers had been “coasting” for some time waiting for our next assignment from the museum. We’d made rag rugs for the houses at Rhyd y Car, we made mediaeval costumes for the children visiting Llys Llewellyn and we’d used the lavender grown in the castle gardens to make lavender bags to sell in the shops. For a few other meetings we’d been doing our own crafting projects in Gweithdy, talking to visitors, showing them how we made our various quilts, rugs, throws, and tapestries, but we were ready for a new project.

None of us had been familiar with the term Tip Girls, or the work they did in the mining industry when Noreen and Ceri from Big Pit visited us to ask for help in setting up a new temporary exhibition at the big pit Museum.

We were asked to design and make an outfit suitable for a Tip girl as would have been worn in the Welsh coal fields. Little research has been done on these girls in Wales but some records were kept of those girls working in the coal fields of Nottinghamshire and Durham. There were similarities between the two but also some distinct differences; most notably the names: Tip Girls in Wales and Pit Girls in the north of England

We obviously needed to research these Tip Girls and the period in which they were working, to find out the type of clothes they wore in order to undertake our task.

Until 1842 women and children had regularly worked underground, but after a dreadful mining disaster in Barnsley, Queen Victoria demanded an enquiry. This resulted in the Mines and Collieries Act banning women, girls, and boys under 10 from working underground.

This was a blow to many women who earned their living, or supplemented their household income from working underground, but women who needed to work adapted. They worked at loading wagons or hauling tubs up from the pithead and some became Tip Girls, sorting rocks and stones from the coal when it had been brought up from the mines below ground.

In our research we found that Tip girls developed a distinctive style of dress and different areas develop their own distinctive styles

The work was cold and wet and very dirty and the girls’ dresses catered for this.  In Wales, W. Clayton had taken photographs of these women; although they were posed and in a studio setting we still get a good idea of how they were dressed.  They wore long flannel skirts or frocks covered by leather aprons. Some wore breeches under their skirts, but this was frowned on in some mines, although it was commonplace in the mines in the north of England. They clothed their heads in hats and scarves, ensuring all of their heads were completely covered to prevent the coal dust saturating their hair.

Several members of the Craft group luckily have experience in costume design and they shared their expertise with us, helping us to design the costume.

We needed to decide what fabric we could use for the costumes, and we were lucky to be allowed the opportunity to see the museum exhibits in storage that would help us in designing the costume. We saw skirts, aprons, petticoats, stockings, socks and even boots that were all being carefully conserved by the museum.


We had been given a shop-window mannequin to use as the Tip Girl and were expected to dress her. However, her solid hands and feet posed a problem in that we needed to give her gloves and boots, and her elegant pose made making her resemble the Tip Girl very difficult.                                                                 

It took some time to work out that she couldn’t be used and something else had to be sorted out. There was no other mannequin available from the museum, so our resourceful team got together and manufactured one from various sources. (It does help having costume designers in the group!)

We used the original mannequin as the basis to design the clothes and even used our own members as models.  The tip girls hats seem to have been of special interest to the girls. They were all decorated quite lavishly with beads, ribbons, bows, flowers, and even birds and cherries and other fruit.  This seems to have been their gesture to glamour in the midst of the grime of the pit head.

We were getting on nicely with the manufacture of the clothes when Covid hit and we were locked down. We carried on our monthly meetings over Zoom but the Tip Girl project was side-lined for a while, while we made masks and protective clothing for the NHS. Edwina however was still working on our model and when a year later we resumed, we were nearly there with our very own Tip Girl, who we had nicknamed Brenda, for some unknown reason!

In discussion with a friend who is also doing research on the Tip Girls of the Welsh mines, I discovered that these girls were not the lowly workers they seem to be from their photos. In fact, they were quite well-paid and regarded themselves as better off than girls who had to go into service at the local “big houses”. Photographers also wanted to take their photographs and make them into postcards to sell to the public which made some of the tip girls into minor celebrities.

During lockdown we have made headscarf, skirt, chemise and socks. We’d made hands (ready for gloves) hats, bloomers and a bodice.  On returning to face-to-face volunteering, we collected what we had been working on and found we had been quite productive during lockdown.

The home-made mannequin was coming along at pace and caused some hilarity when we first assembled the legs and body as they weren’t quite compatible. Caroline, our expert in period costume, had knitted a wonderful pair of stockings that fitted the homemade legs perfectly.



The figure of the mannequin at the beginning caused much hilarity, and the arms and legs both had to be considerably altered. Having it made by different people in different places had its difficulties!

Our next meeting was at Big Pit, when we collected the disparate pieces of the costume and put them on the model. Our home-made model was not in use, and the museum was using another mannequin that was being altered to fit the brief. It was rather tall for the display case, but the staff intended shortening it discreetly.

The main reason for visiting Big Pit was to make the costume look as realistic as possible for the exhibition. They all looked newly made and pristinely clean, and we had to make them look as grubby and dirty as possible. So, after dressing up the model, we then undressed her again, and took the clothes over to the Forge where we had a good time rubbing them into the dirtiest and most filthy parts of the machinery.


It’s finished now, and we are waiting eagerly for the opening of the exhibition. We’ve left the clothes with the museum, along with both models, and it depends on which model best suits the display cabinet. When we visit the exhibition we will be very interested to find out more about the Tip Girls, and proud to see the small contribution we made to the exhibition on display. 



‘Who’s who in Magelona’ is a question I have asked myself for the 20 years or more that I have worked with marine bristleworms, but are we closer to knowing the answer?


Marine bristleworms, as the name suggests, are a group of worms that are predominately found in our seas and oceans. They are related to earthworms and leeches and can make up to 50-80% of the animals that live in the seabed. 

I am a taxonomist, and as such, part of my role is to discover new species that have never been seen before, which I then get to name and describe, so other scientists can identify the newly discovered species. I may also rediscover new things about species we have long known about. Although people may not know much about marine bristleworms they are vital to the health of our seas, so understanding what species we have and where they live is an important part of protecting our oceans.

Magelonids, or shovel head worms to give their common name, are a beautiful group of worms, whose spade-shaped heads are used for digging in sands and muds at the bottom of the sea. Of course, I may be biased in thinking they are beautiful, having spent over two decades studying them, I shall let you decide! They are unusual, even amongst bristleworms, and it is for this reason that we have often had trouble relating them to other marine bristleworm groups, or even understanding how they are related to one another.  As part of my job, I have discovered and named species from around the world, including species from Europe. I am currently investigating up to 20 new species off West Africa, and the similarities they share with those here in Wales, but that is a story for another day!

We cannot understand the natural world without first understanding how life on earth is related to one another. With this in mind, we have been looking at shovel head worms and the relationships between them. We have been working with colleagues in the USA and Brazil to answer this question, looking at different characteristics, for example, the size and proportions of the head and body, whether they have pigment patterns or whether they are known to build tubes. Due to the number of different characters and the numbers of species studied it has taken a long time to process the results. However, the results have just been published in the journal PeerJ, so we can share with others our findings. If you want to read more about ‘Who’s who in Magelona’ then the article can be downloaded here from their web-site.



Archwiliwch y casgliad yn Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd gyda'n tîm o wirfoddolwyr. Yn y fideo hwn, archwiliwch amonitau gyda'n gwirfoddolwr, Sue.

Cliciwch ar 'Gosodiadau' ar gyfer is-deitlau yn Gymraeg.

Mae gan yr Amgueddfa dri model pensaernïol o adeilad Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd.

Cafodd pedwar model eu creu, ond erbyn hyn dim ond mewn hen ffotograff lliw sepia y gellir gweld yr hynaf. Nid yw'n syndod o ystyried mai prototeip papur bregus ydoedd. Mae'r nesaf, 'y model gwreiddiol' fel y'i gelwir yn barchus, mor ddrudfawr (ac anferth) mae wedi ei ddatgymalu a'i bacio, ac yn cael ei gadw mewn storfa ddiogel. Ciwb Perspex cŵl o'r 1960au yw'r model nesaf, a chanddo blatiau chwareus y gellid eu symud sy'n cynrychioli gwahanol loriau'r amgueddfa. Mae gwaith cadwraeth yn cael ei gynnal ar y model hwn ar hyn o bryd. Cafodd y model olaf, sydd hefyd yn cynnwys ffigurau, ceir a gwyrddni bach plastig, ei greu ym 1988 i ddarlunio Estyniad Cwrt yr Amgueddfa gan Bartneriaeth Alex Gordon.

Sefydlwyd Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru trwy Siarter Frenhinol ym 1907, ac wedi pennu'r lleoliad ym Mharc Cathays, Caerdydd, cafwyd cystadleuaeth agored ym 1909 i ddylunio'r adeilad. Cafodd 130 o ddyluniadau eu cyflwyno, a chwmni o benseiri o Lundain, A. Dunbar Smith & Cecil C. Brewer, ddaeth i'r brig. Nid oedd yr Amgueddfa yn bwriadu adeiladu'r cyfan ar unwaith, felly roedden nhw'n ffafrio dyluniad fyddai'n caniatáu ychwanegu darnau dros amser, yn unol â'r gyllideb oedd ar gael. Cafodd y garreg sylfaen ei gosod gan y Brenin Siôr V a'r Frenhines Mair ar 26 Mehefin 1912, ac ym 1913 dechreuwyd gwaith ar yr uwchstrwythur. Gan nad oes sôn amdano yng Nghofnodion Cyngor yr Amgueddfa, rydyn ni'n cymryd y cafodd y model papur cain hwn ei greu a'i gyflwyno at sylw'r Cyngor gan Smith & Brewer.

Mae'r cyfeiriad cyntaf at y model gwreiddiol yn ymddangos yng Nghofnodion Cyngor yr Amgueddfa, 1 Tachwedd 1910-31 Hydref 1911. Maent yn nodi y penodwyd Is-Bwyllgor yn cynnwys y Cadeirydd, Syr E. Vincent Evans, a'r cerflunydd enwog o Gymro, W. Goscombe John, i ddechrau trefnu creu model, a chanddynt yr hawl i dderbyn tendr am hyd at £200 am ei greu. Yn ddiweddarach, fe welwn y derbyniwyd dyfynbris o £165 gan Mr. J. Lambert (o Lundain). Byddai'r model yn dangos yr adeilad cyfan, byddai wedi'i greu o bren a'r raddfa fyddai chwarter modfedd i bob troedfedd. Yn nes ymlaen, sonnir fod Mr Lambert yn gweithio'n rhy araf a pennwyd dyddiad terfyn o 1 Hydref 1912!

Yn y Cofnodion ar gyfer 27 Hydref 1911 i 22 Hydref 1912, nodir y cafodd y model terfynol ei arddangos yn yr Ystafell Ddeisebu yn Neuadd San Steffan am bythefnos ym mis Mai 1912, ac ym mis Gorffennaf roedd i'w weld yn yr Amgueddfa Dros Dro, Neuadd y Ddinas, Caerdydd. Adeiladwyd yr Amgueddfa Dros Dro yn yr iard tu ôl i Neuadd y Ddinas, a bu'r Amgueddfa'n ei defnyddio ar gyfer arddangosfeydd tan fod yr adeilad terfynol wedi'i orffen ac yn barod i roi cartref i'r casgliadau. Cafodd ei anfon i'r Amgueddfa Genedlaethol hefyd, a gynhaliwyd yn Wrecsam ym 1912. Mae'r deunydd marchnata a hyrwyddo yma'n dangos ei bwysigrwydd, a phenllanw degawdau o lafur a arweiniodd at sefydlu Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru. Hefyd, roedd yn paratoi trigolion y ddinas am sut y byddai'r Amgueddfa yn gweddnewid ardal Parc Cathays, gyda'r adeilad yn swatio rhwng Neuadd y Ddinas (a adeiladwyd ym 1906) ar y dde a'r Brifysgol (a adeiladwyd ym 1883) tu cefn iddi.

Cafodd un o'r ffotograffau gorau o'r model gwreiddiol ei gymryd pan gafodd ei arddangos yn y Brif Neuadd hanner can mlynedd yn ddiweddarach i ddathlu Jiwbilî'r Amgueddfa ym 1957. Mae'r ffotograff hwn yn ymddangos yn yr Adroddiad Blynyddol gyda'r capsiwn "Arddangosfa'r Jiwbilî yng nghanol y Brif Neuadd. Ar y chwith, mae model yn dangos yr Amgueddfa pan fydd wedi'i gorffen...". Ymddengys mai dyma'r tro olaf i'r model gael ei arddangos yn gyhoeddus.

Nawr, ymlaen â ni i'r Chwedegau ac at fodel – a chyfnod – hollol wahanol! Dyma flwch Perspex clir sy'n mesur tua 2 droedfedd sgwâr a thua 5 modfedd o uchder, yn dangos cynllun lloriau adeilad yr Amgueddfa. Cafodd ei gomisiynu gan Gyfeillion Amgueddfa Cymru yn rhodd i Wasanaeth Ysgolion yr Amgueddfa ym 1969 (costiodd £173) er mwyn hwyluso'u gwaith o esbonio'r adeilad i grwpiau o blant ysgol.

The staff of the Museum Schools Service often give talks to large groups of school children in which they explain the purpose and lay-out of the Museum. On these occasions it has proved difficult to give a clear idea of the location of the principal galleries to a seated audience. The new model provides an admirable aid for this purpose. It is made of clear Perspex and is constructed in such a way so that each “floor” can be re-moved separately for explanatory comments. Each Museum Department has been given a colour code to distinguish it when the model is fully assembled.

Pymthegfed Adroddiad Blynyddol Cyfeillion Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Cymru, 1969 [tudalen 9].

Y dylunydd oedd Christopher Shurrock (g. 1939), arlunydd, gwneuthurwr printiau a cherflunydd a oedd bryd hynny yn dysgu Astudiaethau Celf Sylfaenol yn Sefydliad Addysg Uwch Caerdydd. Ac yntau'n aelod cynhyrchiol o Grŵp 56 Cymru ac Academi Frenhinol Gorllewin Lloegr yn y 1960au, ei ddiddordeb pennaf oedd ymchwilio i ddirnadaeth, lliw a strwythurau wedi'u darlunio, a'u dadelfennu i'w ffurfiau mwyaf sylfaenol. Dyma Shurrock yn esbonio'r model '...gall gwedd arwynebol a mecanwaith ddrysu gyda gormod o stwff mympwyol, mae'r cynnwys mewnol yn aml yn fregus, nid yw cyd-ddigwyddiad o reidrwydd yn brawf. Y broblem fythol yw dirnad beth sydd wir angen cael ei ddangos...' .

Fel y nodwyd eisoes, cafodd y model olaf ei greu ym 1988 i ddarlunio Estyniad Cwrt yr Amgueddfa gan Bartneriaeth Alex Gordon.

Pensaer a Chymro oedd Syr Alexander John Gordon CBE (1917-1999). Fe ddyluniodd nifer o adeiladau mawr y De, gan gynnwys Theatr y Sherman yng Nghaerdydd (1973) ac estyniad y Gyfnewidfa Ffôn yn Abertawe (1971). Bu hefyd yn llywydd Sefydliad Brenhinol Penseiri Prydain rhwng 1971 a 1973. Cafodd yr estyniad yr enw 'estyniad y cwrt' am ei fod yn cynnwys llenwi'r gofod rhwng y ddwy adain a oedd, yn nyluniad gwreiddiol y penseiri, yn cynnwys gardd gwrt awyr agored. Fodd bynnag, yn ei hanfod adeiladu to dros yr ardal ganolog a wnaed, fel y gwelwch yma.

Cymharwch hwn gyda'r model papur gwreiddiol yn dangos y man canolog agored:

Mae'r modelau hyn yn agos iawn at ein calonnau. Mae'r cynharaf yn cynrychioli penllanw'r gobaith a'r freuddwyd o ddechrau creu hunaniaeth Gymreig genedlaethol, a'r modelau ers hynny yn dangos ac yn dathlu esblygiad a datblygiad y weledigaeth sydd wrth wraidd yr Amgueddfa heddiw.

Mae hefyd yn bleser gennym adrodd fod ysbryd creu modelau yr Amgueddfa yn dal yn fyw ac yn iach! Yn ystod y cyfnod clo dechreuodd y Cynorthwy-ydd Amgueddfa Jade Fox ail-greu rhai o orielau Amgueddfa Genedlaethol Caerdydd. Cymerwch gip ar y ffilm fer hon ohoni'n esbonio sut y daeth y project yn fyw, pan oedd ganddi amser i'w lenwi a hen focs pizza yn sbâr...

Y 30ain o Fedi yw Diwrnod Cenedlaethol Treftadaeth Chwaraeon, cyfle i ddathlu treftadaeth chwaraeon ac i ddysgu ac ysbrydoli.

Eleni, fe wnaeth Amgueddfa Cymru mewn partneriaeth gydag Oriel Anfarwolion Chwaraeon Cymru, ddathlu ein treftadaeth chwaraeon gydag arddangosfa newydd, Cymru…Olympaidd. Lansiwyd yr arddangosfa ym mis Gorffennaf i gyd fynd a Gemau Olympaidd Tokyo 2020, ac mae’n cynnwys gwrthrychau rai o brif Olympiaid a Pharalympiaid Cymru. Mae’r arddangosfa yn gyfle i ddod i adnabod rhai o bencampwyr athletau Cymru gan gynnwys; Paulo Radmilovic, Olympiad mwyaf llwyddiannus Cymru; Irene Steer, y fenyw Gymreig gyntaf i ennill medal aur; a Lynn Davies, enillydd y fedal aur yn y naid hir yng Ngemau Olympaidd Tokyo 1964.

I ddathlu Diwrnod Cenedlaethol Treftadaeth Chwaraeon, dyma flas o rai o uchafbwyntiau'r arddangosfa:

Gwisg Nofio Irene Steer

Gwisg nofio Olympaidd Irene Steer, 1912.
Gwisg nofio Olympaidd Irene Steer, 1912.
Olympiad, Irene Steer.
Olympiad, Irene Steer.

Dyma’r wisg nofio a wisgodd Irene Steer i gystadlu yn Gemau Olympaidd 1912 yn Stockholm.

Merch i rieni dosbarth gweithiol oedd Irene Steer a ddechreuodd ei gyrfa nofio cystadleuol ar Lyn Parc y Rhath yn ei thref enedigol, Caerdydd. Enillodd y fedal aur yn Stockholm ym 1912 fel nofwraig cymal olaf tîm nofio dull rhydd 4x100 llath Prydain a dorrodd record y byd.

Roedd rhaid i aelodau’r tîm nofio hynny wisgo siwtiau rasio tebyg i'r rhai a wisgwyd gan ddynion mewn cystadlaethau Olympaidd. Mae’r wisg wedi'i gwneud o sidan, a byddai athletwyr benywaidd yn aml yn gwisgo dillad isaf o dan, gan fod y defnydd yn dryloyw pan yn wlyb.

Yng Ngemau Tokyo eleni, enillwyd y fedal aur gyntaf yn y pwll gan Gymro neu Gymraes ers Irene Steer yn 1912, gyda Matt Richards a Calum Jarvis yn ennill medalau aur gyda’r fuddugoliaeth wych yn y ras gyfnewid rydd 4x200m.

Bathodyn Gemau Olympaidd Paulo Radmilovic

Bathodyn Gemau Olympaidd Paulo Radmilovic, 1920.
Bathodyn Gemau Olympaidd Paulo Radmilovic, 1920.
Olympiad, Paulo Radmilovic
Olympiad, Paulo Radmilovic

Dyma'r bathodyn a wisgodd y nofiwr a'r chwaraewr polo dŵr, Paulo Radmilovic ar ei siwt nofio wrth gystadlu yng Ngemau Olympaidd Antwerp 1920. Daeth ei funud fawr yn y Gemau Olympaidd hyn pan sgoriodd y gôl a enillodd y fedal aur yn erbyn Gwlad Belg, dair munud cyn y chwiban olaf.

Cafodd ei eni yng Nghaerdydd ar 5 Mawrth 1886. Croatiad oedd ei dad a symudodd i Gymru yn y 1860au, a ganwyd ei fam yng Nghymru i rieni Gwyddelig.

Paulo Radmilovic yw Olympiad gorau Cymru erioed, gyda phedair medal aur o chwe ymddangosiad Olympaidd. Am 80 mlynedd bu hefyd yn Olympiad fwyaf llwyddiannus Prydain, nes i'r rhwyfwr Syr Steve Redgrave ennill pumed fedal aur yng Ngemau 2000 yn Sydney.

Medal Aur Lynn Davies

Medal Aur Olympaidd Lynn Davies, 1964.
Medal Aur Olympaidd Lynn Davies, 1964.
Olympiad, Lynn Davies.
Olympiad, Lynn Davies.

I’w gweld yn yr arddangosfa mae medal aur Lynn ‘The Leap’ Davies. Ym 1964 neidiodd Lynn Davies i’r llyfrau hanes, gan serennu ac ennill aur Olympaidd yn y naid hir yn Tokyo. Doedd dim disgwyl iddo gyrraedd y ffeinal, heb sôn am ennill y teitl. Ond roedd yr amodau gwlyb a gwyntog yn ffafrio’r Cymro’n fwy na’r deiliad, Ralph Boston. Enillodd Davies gyda naid o 8.07m, ac ef yw’r unig Gymro i ennill medal aur Olympaidd athletau unigol.

Arddangosfa Cymru…Olympaidd yn Sain Ffagan Amgueddfa Werin Cymru.
Arddangosfa Cymru…Olympaidd yn Sain Ffagan Amgueddfa Werin Cymru.

Gellir gweld hefyd yn yr arddangosfa, un o dair medal aur Olympaidd Richard Meade, un o fawrion y byd marchogaeth, medalau arian ac efydd y nofiwr David Davies, siaced tîm Olympaidd y deifiwr Robert Morgan, a medalau gystadlu’r athletwyr paralympiad, John Gronow a David Winters.

Mae gan athletwyr Cymreig draddodiad hir o lwyddo yn y Gemau Olympaidd a Paralympaidd, ac nid oedd eleni'n eithriad. Enillodd athletwyr Cymru yn Tokyo, 22 o fedalau - wyth yn y Gemau Olympaidd a 14 yn y Gemau Paralympaidd.

Mae Olympiaid Cymru wedi gwneud cyfraniad aruthrol i chwaraeon, bywyd a diwylliant y genedl, ac maen nhw'n parhau i ysbrydoli cenedlaethau o athletwyr i ddilyn ôl eu traed.

Bydd y gwrthrychau i'w gweld tan Ionawr 2022. Mae mynediad am ddim i Sain Ffagan Amgueddfa Werin Cymru, ond rhaid i bob ymwelydd archebu tocyn ymlaen llaw drwy'r wefan.