WEALD AND DOWNLAND OPEN-AIR MUSEUM, WEST SUSSEX

Grid Ref: SU 875 129
Date: 24 April 2014

The Weald and Downland Open-Air Museum lies six miles north of Chichester just off the A286. You need a full day to get the most out of this splendid site with the timber framed houses and barns rescued from across the south east of England and all the artefacts on display from medieval to Victorian. It is a forty-acre site with 50 buildings and there are commonly demonstrations of crafts. When I visited I did not have time to take down details of all the buildings and their dates. This is just a collection of photographs to whet the appetite of those interested in history and eager for a grand day out in West Sussex.

The museum was started in 1967 by a group of volunteers led by Dr. J. R. Armstrong with the objective of saving representative examples of the architecture of South East England. It was opened to the public in September 1970. The musuem's website gives all the details of the facilities on site.

 

Open Air Museum
Left: Late 15th century shop. Right the market hall from Titchfield, late 17th century.
Crafts
Demonstration of crafts in the medieval shop, which came from Horsham in Surrey
General View
View including Whittaker's Cottages from Ashtead built in the 1860s on the left
School House
On the left is the schoolroom from West Wittering built in 1710


shop   Hall House
Medieval shop left and end of Market Hall on the right   Bayleaf Hall House, early 15th century
Pugmill   Market Hall
Pugmill house for clay preparation   End view of Tichfield Market Hall
Cottage   cottage
There was no chimney, the fire was on the floor   Poplar Cottage, late 16th or early 17th century
Couvre de Feu   bee hives
Fire cover or "couvre de feu" origin of the word curfew   Basketwork beehives
Water Mill   Washing
Early 17th century watermill   Victorian cottage bedroom washing bowl and jug
Plates and mugs   Bedroom items
Pewter plates with earthenware and treem vessel   Victorian chamber pot, hot water bottle and candlesticks
Sources

The Weald and Downland Open-Air Museum has an excellent website with many pictures of the buildings and details of where they originated.

Wikipedia Article on the museum lists the buildings with one or two small pictures attached

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