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Welcome to the Weald & Downland Living Museum

Come and discover rescued rural homes and buildings set in a beautiful landscape in the South Downs National Park. Our collection tells the stories of the people who lived and worked in rural South East England over 1,000 years.

Enjoy our family-friendly and dog-friendly 40-acre site and visit our collection of historic buildings – we have more than 50 to explore from a replica Anglo-Saxon hall house to an Edwardian tin church.

We hold a regular programme of demonstrations, including milling in our 17th century working watermill; cooking in our Tudor kitchen; plus seasonal demonstrations. Take a walk in the woods, bring the dog, visit our waterside café (it is dog-friendly) or enjoy your own picnic.

Take a look at our what’s on calendar for upcoming shows, demonstrations, theatre productions and more.

Interested in historic trades and crafts? We also run a broad range of courses in traditional rural trades and crafts and in historic building conservation, plus two MSc programmes. We welcome school groups and have a fun and fascinating choice of workshops.


  • Happy New Year – We look forward to welcoming you to the Museum in 2019.
  • Our waterside cafe will be closed from Monday, 7 January until Friday, 11 January – Museum visitors will be able to purchase refreshments from our Shepherds Hut during this period.
  • Our winter opening hours come into operation from Sunday 28 October onwards. We will be open from 10.30am-4pm (cafe open 9am-4pm).
  • Visit our photographic exhibition ‘Through the Lens: Development of the Museum’ in the newly opened Michael Burton Gallery within Longport Farmhouse.
  • We currently have two exciting new exhibit buildings under construction: a dairy and bakehouse. Find out how to donate towards their completion!
  • Building closures: the medieval house from Sole Street is shut for re-display (opens early 2019). We apologise for any inconvenience.

Recent reviews:

“So much to see, do and learn. Set in beautiful rural Sussex downlands and woods. Also love the heavy horses, donkeys etc. Good to visit on special days.”
Trip Advisor, December 2018

“Visited Monday of Oct half term & loads of free kids activities. Very interesting place anyway and great for kids to run and explore, my iPad loving 7 year old had a great time.”
Trip Advisor, October 2018

“On the day we visited there were some great “demonstrations” in some of the buildings like a fascination “hands-on” introduction to traditional lace-making and bread/stew and biscuit tasting in one of the manor house kitchens. Almost all of the buildings are manned by volunteers who can give load of interesting detail on methods of construction and way of life of the original occupants… All in all, a really good day out.”
Trip Advisor, October 2018

“This is a fascinating place. A good place to walk or just sit and watch the ducks on the lake. The buildings are really interesting and even young grandsons were not bored. They loved the blacksmith’s forge especially.”
Trip Advisor, October 2018

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