home weekend weald and downland living museum

Rural Life Weekend: Home, 29-30 September

With exhibit homes at the Museum spanning rural life in south east England from 950AD to the Victorian era, join us over this special weekend for fascinating talks and demonstrations about domestic life through the ages. Come and explore our historic houses!

Demonstrations

Demonstrations vary daily and are subject to change, but we plan to include:

  • Set in the woods, the Anglo-Saxon hall house, a home in the year 950AD, is a dwelling just for your immediate family. No animals or extended family lived in this space.
  • Head to the Cottage from Hangleton – living here before the Black Death, of course you’d know nothing about it! But how did you think about health and medicine? And what food is being cooked?
  • Visit the Hall from Boarhunt – having survived the Black Death, has housing improved for you? Find out about ideas of health and medicine from medieval England in this building.
  • Make your way to Bayleaf farmhouse, the Tudor home! Everyone who has visited the Museum previously remembers Bayleaf, with its ‘en suite’ and beautiful layout. But how does this building function as a home? And where is the kitchen?
  • Popular Poplar Cottage is a chocolate-box image of a home from the past, but what would living in this two up and two down smoky home really be like? And would you be able to survive supported by produce from the garden and an indoor workshop?
  • Tindalls Cottage is a cold home and this, plus doing hard manual labour, meant that everyone living here needed more calories in the past. Some calories you would get in liquid form and we’ll be brewing in the copper all weekend.
  • Our most recent home, Whittaker’s Cottage, shows life in the Victorian era. Finally, a home that surely must look and feel something like ours? Take a look and see what you think.

Free talks

Also enjoy free 10-minute taster talks on subjects such as:

  • Household brewing
  • Mealtime in the Tudor household
  • Furniture and carpentry
  • Box beds and furniture
  • Clothing and swaddling
  • Life in Tindalls Cottage
  • The charcoal burner
  • The apothecary
  • Heavy horses

Please note that all demonstrations, talks and performances are all subject to change. A full list of activities will be uploaded to this page in advance of the event.

About the Museum

The Museum’s collection of 50 rescued historic buildings, set in 40 acres of parkland, are great places to explore. Learn how food was prepared in the Tudor kitchen, see how a watermill works, watch the blacksmith at work, and spot the traditional farm animals – there are Shire and Percheron horses, Sussex oxen, chickens and geese. The Museum’s waterside café will be open, plus there are indoor and outdoor picnic areas. Regular entry charges apply and the Museum will be open from 10.30am to 6pm, our shop is open until 5.30pm and our café is  open 9.00am-5.00pm. Dogs on leads are welcome and there is ample free parking.  Visitors with access needs are advised to read our accessibility web page in advance of their visit.