We are a self-funding Independent Charity and our day-to-day running costs are funded largely by our visitors (admission revenue). Being Independent means that we are not in receipt of regular income from outside bodies such as local councils or central government. To undertake specific projects, such as the re-erection of a new exhibit building, we rely on fundraising initiative, including applications to Trusts and Foundations.

The Museum is not just about re-erecting exhibit buildings however: we need to continue to conserve, repair and safe-guard them for future generations and this is where we need your help.


This winter the Museum is launching its new £1 million Endowment Appeal, which will safeguard our fantastic historic buildings.

The Museum has been very fortunate to secure an offer of match funding, support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), for ALL donations to support the conservation of our buildings through a new Museum Conservation Endowment Fund.

Double your money

This means that a donation of £50 will be matched by £50 from the HLF, £1,000 by £1,000 and so on, up to a total of £500,000 – making the final result £1 million.

This is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to a lasting legacy, ensuring that our 50+ historic buildings are cared for in perpetuity. Our collections are Designated by the Government as one of a few selected outstanding collections in the UK.

How to donate

If you would like to make a donation of any size, knowing that it will be effectively doubled, we would love to hear from you! Donations through our website also qualify. There’s never been a better time to give a gift to the buildings that you and your family love at the Museum.

Weald & Downland Living Museum
Town Lane
West Sussex
PO18 0EU

Or simply pop in and speak to a member of staff or the CEO, Martin Purslow, directly.


“The £1 million will form the basis of a fighting fund to support the long-term conservation of our buildings, something that is absolutely at the heart of what we do as a museum, but for which we often struggle for funds. It is part of our strategic commitment, supported by our trustees, to plan for the long-term safe keeping of all the buildings for which we act as stewards for future generations. Please help us to continue the good work begun by our founders and carried out by so many who have a passion for this Museum and its mission to preserve the important story of our rural heritage in the South East – and consider doubling the impact of a donation for Christmas. All donors will be recognised in our donor gift register for future generations. If your children or grandchildren love this place, consider an extra Christmas present this year to preserve it for their children and grandchildren.”  Martin Purslow, Museum CEO

If you are a UK taxpayer please do Gift Aid your donation, as the scheme will increase the value of your contribution because the Museum can reclaim the tax (by 25p for every £1).


Many of our Annual Members and visitors may be unaware that the Museum is a charity and that as a registered charity we can, and occasionally do, benefit from gifts in Wills. Legacies are a source of income upon which many charities depend but which are less common within the museum world. We are very grateful to those who have already chosen to support us in this way as each gift, whatever its size, helps ensure the future of this much-loved Museum.

Planning your gift to the Museum

Such a gift is among the most far reaching and valuable contributions a supporter can make, directly benefiting future generations of Museum visitors. Making a legacy is simple and there are three ways in which you can do this:

  • A residual legacy in your Will is a share or percentage of your estate after all other gifts and debts have been paid.
  • A pecuniary or cash legacy in your Will is a fixed sum of money, the value of which may decrease over time.
  • A specific legacy in your Will is a particular asset such as property, shares or personal possessions.

Legal advice
It is very important to take independent professional advice when writing your Will. We can help with suggested wording, or with a codicil if you have already made a Will, please click here for a Legacy Form or click here for a Legacy Codicil Form. Alternatively, please contact:

Martin Purslow, CEO
Weald & Downland Living Museum
West Sussex
PO18 0EU

Telephone 01243 811363 or email [email protected].