Welcome to the Weald & Downland Living Museum

Come and discover rescued rural homes and buildings set in a beautiful landscape, which tell the stories of the people who lived and worked in them over 1,000 years.

Enjoy our family-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 tabernacle church. There is a regular programme of demonstrations, including milling in our 17th century watermill; 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 our waterside café (also 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 adult education courses in traditional rural trades and crafts and in historic building conservation, plus two MSc programmes.

Updates:

  • On Tuesday 14 August we are setting up the stage for our outdoor theatre production of The Railway Children near the mill pond.
  • We will be setting up our Vintage & Steam vehicle show on Friday 17 August.
  • On Sunday 23 September the Velo South Event will be taking place and may impact travel arrangements for our visitors. Although the immediate vicinity is unaffected, some small detours will be necessary to get here from the south and west – please see the Velo South website for details. A dedicated helpline offering travel advice will be operating on the day (phone number TBC).
  • Discover our new family activity hub in Hambrook barn, where you can dress as a Victorian (and other eras), explore the gypsy caravan and play traditional games.
  • Visit our photographic exhibition ‘Through the Lens: Development of the Museum’ in the new Michael Burton Gallery within Longport Farmhouse.
  • We currently have three exciting new exhibit buildings under construction: a dairy and bakehouse (near the watermill) plus a late 18th century barn and early 19th century stable known as May Day Farm. We hope that our visitors enjoy watching their progress during 2018-19. Click here if you’d like to donate towards their completion.
  • Building closures: the medieval house from Sole Street is closed for re-display (opening autumn 2018) and Court Barn is closed for private hire until 1 November 2018. We are also carrying out significant repairs to the Victorian smithy, which will involve its closure for up to four weeks, beginning at the end of August. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Recent reviews:

“Wonderful Wednesday: It certainly was! A great day out with loads to do for the children. They did corn dolly making, stained glass windows, candle making, willow weaving and loads more. So much to do, an excellent café and really friendly atmosphere.”
Trip Advisor, August 2018

“Just renewed my subscription to this wonderful living history museum. Constantly evolving with newly restored historical buildings. A truly superb place for every age group with many special events throughout the year.”
Trip Advisor, August 2018

“Wonderful Wednesday – it certainly was. A great day out with loads to do for the children. They did corn dolly making, stained glass windows, candle making, willow weaving and loads more. So much to do, an excellent cafe and really friendly atmosphere.”
Trip Advisor, August 2018

“So much variety in the buildings, I loved the fact that they were so accessible and that you could enter them and really get a feel for how life would have been lived in the dwellings.”
Trip Advisor, August 2018

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