Welcome to the Weald & Downland Living Museum

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. 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.


  • Our entrance will be closed on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th April – please follow the diversion to our temporary entrance accessed via the A286 Lavant to Singleton road. Coaches should park at West Dean Gardens, where parties will be met by our team. We apologise for any inconvenience.
  • Work to remodel our car park is taking place – thanks for bearing with us! See how the new layout will look in this short animation.
  • Our Gateway Project buildings – an exciting new visitor centre and café – are approaching completion near to the entrance.
  • Our 17th century watermill is currently closed for repair and we plan to resume milling at Easter.
  • A small café kiosk service is in operation whilst construction takes place on our new café building (opening spring 2017).
  • We are currently finalising a new exhibit – a medieval house from Sole Street, Kent – read all about it in our blog and watch the time-lapse footage from day one and day two.

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.

Museum News