Weald & Downland Living Museum

Weald & Downland Living Museum
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

Come and discover rescued traditional rural buildings set in a beautiful landscape, which tell the stories of the men, women and children who lived and worked in them over a 950-year period.

Enjoy the Museum’s 40-acre site and visit our collection of historic buildings – we have 50 to explore and many of our exhibit houses are furnished to recreate historic domestic interiors. There is a regular programme of domestic and craft demonstrations, including cooking in our Tudor kitchen; blacksmithing in our Victorian smithy; plus seasonal demonstrations. Take a walk in the woods, bring the dog (we are dog friendly), visit the café kiosk or enjoy your own picnic.

Interested in historic tools, trades and crafts? Our extensive artefact collection is housed in our award-winning Downland Gridshell Building – take a free tour daily at 1.30pm. We also have a comprehensive reference library.

Perhaps you would like to try a special event day, inspired by the Museum’s collections? We also run an extensive programme of adult education courses in traditional rural trades and crafts, historic domestic life and building conservation.

Venue Type:

Museum, Garden, parklands or rural site, Historic house or home, Heritage site

Opening hours

1 Jan - 19 Feb 2017 Closed.
20 Feb - 24 Feb 2017 Open daily for half-term week.
25 Feb - 28 Feb 2017 Closed.
1 March - 22 Dec 2017 Open daily for the main season.
24 Dec - 25 Dec 2017 Closed for the Christmas holiday.
26 Dec - 27 Dec 2017 Open for Christmas at the Museum.
28 Dec - 1 Jan 2018 Closed.
Opening hours: BST 10:30 - 18:00. Remainder of the year 10:30 - 16:00.

Admission charges

Adults gift aid £15.00 (standard £13.50)
Adults gift aid 65+ £13.00 (standard £11.50)
Children 4–15 years / Full time students gift aid £7.00 (standard £6.00)
Family (2 + 3) gift aid £42.00 (standard £36.00)
Family (1 + 3) gift aid £26.00 (standard £23.00)
Children aged 3 years and under £Free
Registered disabled / single helper £5.00 (standard £4.50) each
Free car parking

Discounts

  • Museums Association

Additional info

Gift Shop
Cafe
Wheelchair loan
Disabled parking

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

Over 45 buildings, illustrating the development of buildings in Kent, East and West Sussex, Surrey and eastern Hampshire, have been reconstructed on the Museum's site. They include four medieval houses, seven later houses and cottages (including Tudor and Victorian), a medieval shop, agricultural buildings and craft and trade workshops. The Museum's buildings, together with the expertise gained in dismantling and reconstructing them, are essential for the study of the vernacular architecture in south-east England and of timber framed building. Each building has been carefully reconstructed to a particular period in its history and provides insights into aspects of working domestic life. The primary collection of buildings is supplemented by important collections of building parts, craft and building tools and agricultural equipment. The Museum offers an extensive programme of lifelong learning based on the collections. The Museum's new open-access conservation workshop and artefact store has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and will provide a permanent base for training in historic building conservation.

Rescued from destruction, the buildings have been carefully dismantled, conserved and rebuilt to their original form and bring to life the homes, farmsteads and rural industries of the last 500 years. Wander through these exhibits at your leisure - a majestic timber framed farmhouse from Kent; a striking market hall from Hampshire; a Victorian school; a medieval shop; carpenters, plumbers and brickmakers workshops; barns; a granary and a tread wheel from the South Downs. Many of the interiors have been furnished, recreating the way the buildings were used by their owners centuries ago: seven historic gardens show the herbs, vegetables and flowers grown to meet the needs of rural households from medieval to Victorian times.

See bread, pottage and sweetmeats being prepared in the working Tudor kitchen, you may even be invited to sample the results! Pause at the working water mill where stone ground flour is produced daily, experience a recreated Tudor farm, enjoy a picnic by the millpond or a walk in the woods. Delight in the company of our rare and traditional breeds of farm livestock - working horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. See traditional farming in action and heavy horses at work. Demonstrators regularly show their skills and everyone you meet will be happy to talk about how people lived and worked. Discover the skills of the early carpenters, find out about traditional building techniques and learn how we help to conserve rural crafts.

Hens peck in the straw, woolly faced sheep chew the downland grass and Shire horses work in the fields. Enjoy the rhythm of the traditional countryside and unspoilt landscape. For a complete contrast visit the Downland Gridshell, the museum's workshop and store for supporting collections - in an amazing award-winning architectural tour de force, the first timber gridshell in Britain. Tours daily at 1.30pm. Children will enjoy the freedom to roam in safety and gain hands-on experience of the museums buildings, gardens and animals.

Collection details

Social History, Industry, Archives, Architecture, Agriculture

Key artists and exhibits

  • Gridshell
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Vintage & Steam Show at the Weald & Downland Living Museum

Vintage & Steam

  • 19 — 20 August 2017 10:30am-5pm

Visitors to the Museum’s Vintage & Steam show will enjoy all the bustle and excitement of a traditional Steam Festival, with full-size, miniature and model steam engines on display and working around our site in the South Downs National Park.

Alongside an extensive selection of full-size steam engines will be a wide range of exhibits including: commercial vehicles, military vehicles, miniature steam engines, narrow gauge railways, model boats, and classic cars.

A favourite attraction at the event is the gallopers, powered by a Fowler Showman’s steam engine. The gallopers will be at the centre of a small traditional vintage fairground (small charges apply), which is a delight for adults and children alike.

Visitors to the show can also ride on the narrow gauge steam railway (a small charge applies) and enjoy displays in the Events Field arena.

With vintage music and a themed tea tent, local crafts and traditional demonstrations, plus arena displays throughout the weekend, this is an event for all the family to enjoy.


The Vintage & Steam event is open from 10.30am – 5.00pm. The Museum will also close at 5.00pm for safety reasons.

Standard Museum admission prices apply and include entry to the Vintage & Steam event – tickets will be available to buy online through our online shop early next year.

Dogs on short leads are welcome and there is ample free parking. Visitors with disabilities are advised to contact the Museum on 01243 811363 in advance of their visit, to discuss the easiest way to access the site.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults gift aid £15.00 (standard £13.50)
Adults gift aid 65+ £13.00 (standard £11.50)
Children 4–15 years / Full time students gift aid £7.00 (standard £6.00)
Family (1 + 3) gift aid £26.00 (standard £23.00)
Family (2 + 3) gift aid £42.00 (standard £36.00)
Children aged 3 years and under £Free
Registered disabled / single helper £5.00 each (standard £4.50)
Free car parking

Website

http://www.wealddown.co.uk/events/vintage-steam/

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Food & Folk festival at the Weald & Downland Living Museum

Food & Folk Festival

  • 29 April — 1 May 2017

The very best of the South East’s produce and crafts! Enjoy cookery classes and demonstrations, folk music, dancing and storytelling. Visit the stands around the Museum, which feature tasty local produce and crafts from around the South East. Visitors can also enjoy a pint at the bar. The Museum’s new waterside café will be open, plus there are lots of picnic areas..

Standard admission prices apply. Visitors with disabilities are advised to contact the Museum before their visit. Dogs on short leads are welcome and there is free parking. The Museum will open at 10.30am and closed at 5pm.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults gift aid £15.00 (standard £13.50)
Adults gift aid 65+ £13.00 (standard £11.50)
Children 4–15 years / Full time students gift aid £7.00 (standard £6.00)
Family (1 + 3) gift aid £26.00 (standard £23.00)
Family (2 + 3) gift aid £42.00 (standard £36.00)
Children aged 3 years and under £Free
Registered disabled / single helper £5.00 each (standard £4.50)
Free car parking

Website

http://www.wealddown.co.uk/events/food-and-folk/

Museum at Night guided walks at the Weald & Downland Living Museum

Museums at Night Guided Walk

  • 19 — 20 May 2017 7-9:30pm

On the evenings of Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May 2017, the Museum will be open in the evening for pre-booked visitors to experience our Museums at Night guided walks.

Full details to be released in March 2017. Tickets are limited and must be booked in advance. Please check back in spring 2017 to book and sign up to our monthly newsletter for updates.

Walks last approximately 2 hours and will involve an amount of walking on uneven surfaces. There is limited seating in our historic houses.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£25 per person

Website

http://www.wealddown.co.uk/events/museum-at-night-may/

Living History Festival

Living History Festival

  • 3 — 4 June 2017 10:30am-5pm

Step back in time whilst you walk through the ages at the Museum’s new signature event. Scores of re-enactors will be bringing the past to life with living history encampments, military displays, trades and crafts and historical demonstrations.

Confirmed enactors include: Destrier and The Pastons, The Ragged Victorians, The Tudor Group, Wardour Garrison, Weorod, Pelican-in-her-Piety, RAF Regiment Historic Flight and The Yeomanry and Territorial Force.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults gift aid £15.00 (standard £13.50)
Adults gift aid 65+ £13.00 (standard £11.50)
Children 4–15 years / Full time students gift aid £7.00 (standard £6.00)
Family (1 + 3) gift aid £27.00 (standard £23.00)
Family (2 + 3) gift aid £42.00 (standard £36.00)
Children aged 3 years and under £Free
Registered disabled / single helper £5.00 each (standard £4.50)
Free car parking

Website

http://www.wealddown.co.uk/events/living-history-festival/

Wood Show activities at the Weald & Downland Living Museum

Wood Show

  • 17 — 18 June 2017 10:30am-5pm

Visitors to the Museum's Wood Show will enjoy a range of wood craft demonstrations, a working wood yard, teams of heavy horses carrying out forestry tasks, exhibitors and displays. From viewing the Museum’s own timber-framed buildings to crafted bowls, furniture, tools, toys and other wood products – there will be plenty to see, do and buy.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

Bring your dad for free!
Adults gift aid £15.00 (standard £13.50)
Adults gift aid 65+ £13.00 (standard £11.50)
Children 4–15 years / Full time students gift aid £7.00 (standard £6.00)
Family (1 + 3) gift aid £26.00 (standard £23.00)
Family (2 + 3) gift aid £42.00 (standard £36.00)
Children aged 3 years and under £Free
Registered disabled / single helper £5.00 each (standard £4.50)
Free car parking

Website

http://www.wealddown.co.uk/events/wood-show/

Winners parade in the ring at the Rare & Traditional Breeds Show

Rare & Traditional Breeds Show

  • 16 July 2017 10am-4:30pm

Four legs, furry legs, trotters and hooves… come and see cattle, sheep, pigs and goats in this delightful agricultural show for rare and traditional breeds!

With prizes at stake and classes for young handlers, it is one of the biggest shows of its kind in the South East and hugely popular with visitors and exhibitors alike.

There are lots of classes to see and opportunities to meet the breeders situated around the show ring.

Enjoy a range of delicious produce from vendors and quench your thirst with a drink from the bar in the Events Field. Also enjoy craft and trade stands, plus demonstrations with a countryside theme.

The Rare & Traditional Breeds Show will open at 10.00am and close promptly at 4.30pm. The Museum itself will also close at the end of the show for safety reasons.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults gift aid £15.00 (standard £13.50)
Adults gift aid 65+ £13.00 (standard £11.50)
Children 4–15 years / Full time students gift aid £7.00 (standard £6.00)
Family (1 + 3) gift aid £26.00 (standard £23.00)
Family (2 + 3) gift aid £42.00 (standard £36.00)
Children aged 3 years and under £Free
Registered disabled / single helper £5.00 each (standard £4.50)
Free car parking

Website

http://www.wealddown.co.uk/events/rare-and-traditional-breeds-show/

Autumn Countryside Show at the Weald & Downland Living Museum

Autumn Countryside Show

  • 7 — 8 October 2017 10:30am-5pm

Experience the sights and sounds of the countryside, and celebrate the harvest at this wonderful seasonal show! Visitors to our Autumn Countryside Show on 7 and 8 October will experience the wonderful autumnal sights and sounds of the countryside as we celebrate the harvest. This popular seasonal show features traditional working demonstrations – including heavy horses and vintage tractors ploughing – steam-powered threshing, plus a Horticultural Show, woodland and rural craft demonstrations, displays and competitions.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults gift aid £15.00 (standard £13.50)
Adults gift aid 65+ £13.00 (standard £11.50)
Children 4–15 years / Full time students gift aid £7.00 (standard £6.00)
Family (1 + 3) gift aid £26.00 (standard £23.00)
Family (2 + 3) gift aid £42.00 (standard £36.00)
Children aged 3 years and under £Free
Registered disabled / single helper £5.00 each (standard £4.50)
Free car parking

Website

http://www.wealddown.co.uk/events/autumn-countryside-show/

Museum at Night guided walk at the Weald & Downland Living Museum

Museum at Night Guided walk

  • 27 — 28 October 2017 7-9:30pm

On the evenings of Friday 27 and Saturday 28 October, the Museum will be open in the evening for pre-booked visitors to experience our Museum at Night guided walks.

***Full details to follow in August 2017***

Tickets are limited and must be booked in advance. Tickets will be available to buy online in August 2017.

Culture24 co-ordinates Museums at Night, the annual festival encouraging new audiences to discover culture and heritage venues on their doorstep in a different light. The Weald & Downland Museum is taking part in Museums at Night 2017 for what is now an established and popular event in the Museum calendar.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

TBC

Website

http://www.wealddown.co.uk/events/museum-at-night-october/

Tree dressing at the Weald & Downland Living Museum

Tree Dressing

  • 3 December 2017 10:30am-4pm

Tree Dressing is a magical occasion for all the family, celebrating the importance of trees in our lives.

Join in traditional songs and dances. Turn a jam jar into a lantern and join the procession illuminated by hundreds of lanterns before dressing the aspen trees as darkness falls.

The day’s finale takes place as darkness falls, with a spiral dance around the aspen trees, which are dressed with hundreds of lanterns. Younger visitors are well catered for, with lantern making, headdress making and crafts.

Winter warmers on offer will include mulled apple juice and spiced biscuits, for which we request donations.

Based on an ancient custom that celebrates the life-giving properties of trees, Tree Dressing takes place during National Tree Week. With its origins in the Green Man legends and other ancient customs, visitors to the Tree Dressing day can enjoy (and join in with) traditional songs, dances and plays which celebrate trees and the natural world.

We open at 10.30am on Sunday 3 December, with the Tree Dressing event starting at 12.30pm. Visitors wishing to make a lantern should aim to arrive promptly in order to participate in the final procession, which starts at 3.45pm and closes the day.

Regular Museum admission prices apply (free for Annual Members of the Museum). Dogs are welcome.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Adults gift aid £15.00 (standard £13.50)
Adults gift aid 65+ £13.00 (standard £11.50)
Children 4–15 years / Full time students gift aid £7.00 (standard £6.00)
Family (1 + 3) gift aid £26.00 (standard £23.00)
Family (2 + 3) gift aid £42.00 (standard £36.00)
Children aged 3 years and under £Free
Registered disabled / single helper £5.00 each (standard £4.50)
Free car parking

Website

http://www.wealddown.co.uk/events/tree-dressing/

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Building Materials - Getting to Grips

http://www.openairclassroom.org.uk/Workshops/workshop-getting%20to%20grips.htm

A hands-on gallery of building construction aimed at KS2 Science, Design and Technology.

How to obtain

Contact the Schools Service on 01243 811459 or email schoolbookings@wealddown.co.uk for more information.

Weald & Downland Living Museum
Town Lane, Singleton
Chichester
West Sussex
PO18 0EU
England

Website

Website

www.wealddown.co.uk

E-mail

office@wealddown.co.uk

Telephone

01243 811363

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
advertisement