• Food & Folk Festival 2016

Food & Folk Festival

Sunday 01 May to Monday 02 May 2016
10.30am - 5pm

What’s on

The very best of the South East’s produce, crafts, books and plants will be showcased at our spring event. Enjoy cookery classes and demonstrations, traditional folk music, dancing and storytelling. There will be lots of tasty samples to try before you buy!

Download the Food & Folk Festival show programme here!

F&F programme thumbnail






Food & Drink

Visit the stands around the Museum site, which feature tasty local produce, cookery books, cookware and country crafts from in and around the South East. Food stands at the event will include hot and cold foods, sweets and much more! Visitors can also enjoy a pint at the bar on site.

The Museum’s café kiosk will be open, plus there are undercover and outdoor picnic areas.


Downland Gridshell: tour this award-winning building at 1.30pm. It was the first timber gridshell in the UK and is home to our conservation workshop and rural artefacts collection. See the Museum of British Folklore’s exhibition, ‘Morris Folk’ – a unique collection of miniature replicas of Morris dancers’ costumes. Hear about how the project is developing from the Museum of British Folklore’s Director, Simon Costin, with talks at 11.30am and 2.30pm on Sunday 1st May.

Book signing: on Sunday, author and chef Rob Silverstone, will be signing and promoting his books A Mule Across the Water – Real Food in Sussex & Normandy and A Mule in Brighton – a Taste of the Downs. Find his stand in the Refreshments & Activities Marquee in the Events Field. Rob will also be cooking up some delicious local food in the Cookery Theatre.

Medieval Living History: for an interesting snapshot of life in late medieval England, visit the Pelican-in-her-Piety tented encampment near the Market Square. Here you will discover a wealthy spectacle merchant – see frames being made and try on some glasses. In the kitchen you’ll find out what foods people ate and can see medieval recipes being recreated. If you’re feeling bold, try on a knight’s helmet and hold a sword – or visit the archer to hear how the longbow became a weapon of mass destruction. For the really brave, visit the gong farmer and his medieval toilet! Do you dare?

Winkhurst Tudor kitchen: experience what it would have been like to work in a Tudor kitchen with seasonal cooking demonstrations during the day… sights, smells, smoke and all!

Blacksmiths: see Martin Fox in action in the Victorian smithy throughout the event. Craft demonstrations: see Mark Allery pole lathe turning, plus chair caning next to the smithy.

Chichester College: students will be displaying their furniture and demonstrating their skills as they practice for a Regional Worldskills competition later in May. See their display in the Building Crafts Gallery.

Family activities

Fun Food Academy – Children’s Cookery School: the team will be cooking up tasty treats in the Refreshments & Activities Marquee in the Events Field, where kids can get stuck into delicious homemade baking. They can also take part in the Cookery Theatre at 12.45pm each day. So don’t miss out – fresh, healthy and always delicious, come and join the foodie fun!

Milk Daisy the cow: not a real cow, but children can have a go at milking a replica cow in Refreshments & Activities Marquee in the Events Field.

May Day headdress making: join in with the May Day celebrations over the weekend in the building from Lavant.

Folk around the Museum

On Sunday:

  • Enjoy songs from the South Downs Folk Singers from 12noon – 12.30pm and 2pm – 2.30pm in the Events Field
  • Listen to Circle of Sound – Charles Spicer (best known as oboist and singer with The Mellstock Band) and award-winning musician, composer & musical director, Mark T – perform folk and early music on bagpipes, Cor Anglais, Bouzouki and Darabuka from 11am – 4pm around the site
  • See Thakeham Morris and Magog Morris groups perform at lunch time in the Market Square

On Monday:

  • Watch the Rabble Folk Theatre perform their Robin Hood play in the Market Square at 12noon and again at 2pm
  • Hear the Sussex Folk Orchestra playing in or around the Refreshments & Activities Marquee from 2pm – 3pm

On both days:

  • Enjoy folk music from Trads with fiddle player Lucy Duff and Nick Powling on the accordion – they’ll be playing around the site throughout the festival weekend
  • Join in with seasonal Maypole dancing, taught and accompanied by Gale Duff and Matt Quinn, next to Whittaker’s Cottages
  • Join Ben Fairlight for ‘A Feast of Folktales’ from 11am – 4pm in the medieval house from North Cray
  • Gather round and enjoy ‘Piggery Jokery’ by Hand to Mouth Theatre. This is a whimsical perambulation through the seasons, touching on the circular nature of time, told by the Green Man, his hurdygurdy playing Droning Crone and their troupe of rag-bag characters. There will be plenty of laughter along the way as the old farmer tends his land and fattens his pig for the winter. See the notice board outside the medieval house from North Cray for places and times.


Farming implements & machinery: see vintage tractors in the Events Field and the Museum’s threshing drum on display in the Hay Barn from Ockley – this will also be shown in its full glory at our Autumn Countryside Show, 8 – 9 October 2016.

Farming artefacts display: see the vehicle display in Redvins Yard (16) and visit the Vehicle & Implement Gallery (49).

West Sussex Beekeepers Association: meet the team at their information stand in the Refreshments & Activities Marquee.

Meet the gardening team: they’ll be in our recreated period gardens: Bayleaf Farmstead (12), Pendean Farmhouse (18), Poplar Cottage (7), Whittaker’s Cottages (5), House from Walderton (4), and at the Toll House (3).

Information for visitors

The Food & Folk Festival will take place on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 May 2016 at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum at Singleton, near Chichester. Visitors with disabilities are advised to contact the Museum in advance of their visit, to discuss the easiest way to access the site. Dogs on short leads are welcome and there is ample free parking. Regular admission charges apply and the Museum will open daily from 10.30am, closing at 5pm.