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Welcome to the Weald & Downland Living Museum

Come and discover rescued rural homes and buildings set in a beautiful landscape. Our collection tells the stories of the people who lived and worked in South East England 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 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 courses in traditional rural trades and crafts and in historic building conservation, plus two MSc programmes. We also welcome school groups.

Updates:

  • Discover our new family activity hub in Hambrook barn, where you can dress up, explore the gypsy caravan and play traditional games.
  • 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 (near the watermill).  Click here to donate towards their completion!
  • Building closures: we are carrying out significant repairs to the Victorian smithy, which is closed 31 August to early October. The medieval house from Sole Street is closed for re-display (opens autumn 2018). Court Barn is closed for private hire until 1 November 2018. We apologise for any inconvenience.
  • On Sunday 23 September the Velo South Event may impact travel arrangements for our visitors. Please see the Velo South website for details of road closures and detours, and check this page in advance of your visit (opening hours may vary).

Recent reviews:

“Armed with a well-planned colour map, we took the main route up and around the fields and wooded areas… A beautiful September day; Autumn’s arrival subtle with the leaves just beginning to turn. The resurrected buildings en route date from the 1300s through to Victorian times and are easily accessible, many with two storeys, with furniture and other household items added inside to encourage the imagination and senses… We looked at every building, had a drink and stayed a total of 3.5 hours at the site… Well worth a visit.”
Trip Advisor, September 2018

“This outdoor museum is well laid out, full of interesting exhibits and animals and is a fascinating insight into Saxon, Medieval , tudor-stuart and Victorian times. Buildings are beautifully put back together with as much appropriate furniture and fittings as can be traced… Older people who have memories of Granny’s house will love the entire experience. Come for the day. It does take that long to see everything.”
Trip Advisor, September 2018

“What a fantastic museum! There is a really good introduction to the site and a useful map is available. It is a big site and we spent all day there exploring the various houses and buildings. There are demonstrations throughout the day which are very well presented and informative… All in all an excellent visit to a museum which is developing all the time.”
Trip Advisor, September 2018

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