Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Weald and Downland Museum.

The Weald and Downland  museum opened its doors in 1970. What began as a place to save/ reconstruct actual historic buildings threatened with demolition for things, such as road building ,is now so much more. It is now described as a living museum with people working on site. You may have come across it in various TV programmes when a historic site is called for. It was a favourite place for us to visit when we lived in Sussex and was top of our list for a revisit this Summer during our holiday in Chichester. Let me show you why.

This building dates from 1620 and is the Town Hall from Titchfield, Hampshire. In the 1960s it was totally derelict and was going to be demolished till a new home was found for it here in 1971. This is a favourite film location, where a crowd situation occurs.

This house came from Walderton , Sussex and was offered to the museum as it was due for demolition.It has been used inside to show how houses changed from the 15th century when houses were built in a single storey with a big central hall, to the 17th century when a ceiling and stairs were added and the hall divided into room with chimneys added replacing an open central fire. There is a staff of gardeners who with a team of volunteers add authenticity  by cultivating gardens. What I really noticed was the absence of lawn, all available space being used for vegetables, herbs and flowers with medicinal properties. A really pleasant place to sit a while.

This is a grander affair being a medieval house from Sole Street, Kent. Condemned in 1960 as not fit for habitation ,it was occupied until 1967 , before coming to the museum. It is used for demonstrations and hands on activities.

Poplar Cottage, from Washington, Sussex. It was situated on the edge of common land and would likely to have been occupied by an agricultural labourer.

These oxen are working animals used to fetch and carry wood,etc, as there are on site crafts people at work.

Bayleaf Tudor Farmhouse, this one saved from drowning under a much-needed reservoir! I think I spotted this one in an episode of Midsummer Murders.

Inside the properties is just as interesting as outside.

Beds– clearly you can see the ropes that formed the base of the bed on which the mattress was laid. These ropes need tightening from time to time, hence the expression To Sleep Tight!

A visit to the nearby Tudor kitchen to sample some bread and beer! Your eyes gradually get used to the dark!

Inside a Victorian village school!

Inside the Victorian cottage.

But outside and round the corner for the


Well really Nanacathy, what note to end on, but is it the end? More on Friday . Do drop in for a natter.

Hope you enjoyed your tour. Have you been, did you like it? If not let’s see if they can tempt you, have a look here


Comments on: "Weald and Downland Museum." (30)

  1. What a wonderful place. Such a beautiful place. I feel I need a pack of cards with them on, so I can spot them when they’re used in films etc 😉

  2. Now I am going to keep my eyes pealed when I watch BBC shows! Lovely visit.

  3. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    Fascinating and wonderful that these old houses were saved.

    • Isn’t it such a worthwhile thgn to do. Having just completed a short online course on medeival England including houses it was totally fascinating. I mentioned it to one of the volunteers and she told me of a group of university students studying archeology and architecture had been round that week with a check list of what to see in a building to date it. Good to see that people don’t go round just for pleasure but education too.

  4. It looks like a wonderful place to visit! Another for the list….

  5. Another wonderful visit to England on the nana catchy tour bus. This is a really wonderful museum. Living history is so spectacular to see. Thanks for taking us!

  6. It’s such a fabulous place isn’t it. Just up the road from me. The company I work for was involved in sponsoring one of the apprentices who worked on the relocation and repair of the Sole Street house. Did you go in the new restaurant? They have done an amazing job on the new visitor centre etc.

    • Yes we went to the new cafe – fabulous, we had tea over looking the lake and I seem to remember we shared a rather nice chocolate brownie! How nice that your company is involved with an apprentice. I haven’t quite finished with the Weald and Downland in my blog, more tomorrow.

  7. claire93 said:

    thanks for sharing your visit Cathy! We visited a similar museum in Tokyo, with Streets and Streets of old houses, tea houses and even a bath house reconstructed, with all original materials on site. It was amazing to be able to walk about and see how they lived.

  8. What a lovely place! We have living history museums here, but our history is so much newer than yours, lol. Love those old buildings, and hope I get there someday. 🙂

  9. What a great place! Saving wonderful old buildings, allowing visitors to imagine life the way it used to be…… I enjoyed finding out the genesis of the saying ‘Sleep tight!’ Now I’m off to bed 🙂

  10. Looks a fantastic place. No I’ve not visited but it looks a fun place to see!

  11. Lovely place 🙂

  12. I absolutely loved this museum. We went when hardly anyone else was around and it felt like a deserted village. We walked into the houses and the fire was smouldering in the corner as if someone had just left. The thing that left the greatest impression was how much difference it must have made when they started to put glass into the windows – not just more light but an absence of draughts.
    Thanks for reminding me of this wonderful place.

    • So glad you enjoyed the reminder. There were quite a few families around, when we went. I ama bit staggered I managedd so many pictures without people. It’s a great place to go, it took us all day. And yes it’s lovely the way the houses are with evidence of daily life.

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