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