Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The Museum is now OPEN, in line with Government guidance*. Full details about our reopening and FAQ’s can be found here.

As a charity and a self-funded independent museum, we live on what income we make ourselves. 90% of our income comes directly from our visitors through admissions – sadly, whilst we were closed, this income is lost to us and that has had a serious financial impact on the Museum. If you would like to make a donation to support us, please click here.

* The Museum will continue to monitor government guidance and will adapt our opening arrangements to adhere to any new requirements, therefore please keep an eye on our website and social media channels for any further updates.


Calling All Teachers: Shakespeare Week in March
Book now for a special day of literacy, drama and history activities. In a full day of workshops, groups will learn about everyday life in Shakespeare's England.
£9.50 per pupil. Call 01243 811459 or email [email protected] for details

Watch us on YouTube!



Welcome to the Weald & Downland Living Museum

“We are an independent Museum, we rescue and conserve historic buildings, we teach traditional trades and crafts to ensure their preservation and we share the untold stories of rural life and those who lived it in the South East of England”

– Simon Wardell, Museum Director –

Come and discover rescued rural homes and buildings set in a beautiful landscape in the South Downs National Park. Our collection tells the stories of the people who lived and worked in rural South East England over 1,000 years.

Enjoy our family-friendly and dog-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.

We hold a regular programme of demonstrations, including milling in our 17th century working watermill; cooking in our Tudor kitchen; plus seasonal demonstrations. Take a walk in the woods, bring the dog, visit our waterside café (it is dog-friendly) or enjoy your own picnic.

Take a look at our what’s on calendar for upcoming events, 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 welcome school groups and have a fun and fascinating choice of workshops.


  • We are now open! Entry is by pre-booked, timed tickets only, please visit our FAQ page for further information.
  • Due to COVID-19 we have made a few changes, please read our reopening page before you visit.
  • Museum cafe is open for takeaway service only, between 10.30am-5pm.
  • We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded Sussex Life’s ‘Visitor Attraction of the Year’ – click here to read more.
  • Visit our ‘People’s Show‘ exhibition has been extended! Make your way to the gallery space in the Michael Burton Gallery within Longport Farmhouse.
  • Closures: Please note that the Museum’s sculpture trail is closed until further notice, apologies for any inconvenience.

The Repair Shop:

The Museum’s Court Barn from Lee-on-Solent is home to The Repair Shop series and is closed for private hire (filming). The film set it not open for visitors to explore.

NEED TO CONTACT THE REPAIR SHOP?  For all Repair Shop enquiries, please do not contact the Museum (we are simply the venue) – instead, please contact Ricochet directly.

Please note that the conservators featured in the series come from across the UK and are not resident at the Museum – the Museum is unable to offer conservation advice for the repair of items and unable to accept post or take delivery of items for repair. If you are interested in applying to be on the series please apply via the website

For all other queries  please contact 01273 224 800 or email [email protected] and liaise directly with Ricochet BEFORE sending your items in the post, to avoid loss or damage.

Recent reviews:

“It is a remarkable place! It’s very special for us, we got married in Crawley Hall in December 2015!” – Linda, Facebook, August 2020

A lovely afternoon in the sunshine – “Covid regulations and advice were strictly adhered to in an unobtrusive way so wandering around the site, and the buildings that were open was a pleasure. Visitor numbers are restricted which in my opinion improved the experience” – Visitor review, Tripadvisor, July 2020

A step back in time, whilst enjoying the future – “My first visit which was ‘a perfect ten’ as a rating. Historically brilliant with good information on everything there…learnt about haymaking and housebuilding over a several hundred year timespan. Everything was well spaced out, and it was clear they have implemented all Covid advisories perfectly. All very clean. The staff were friendly, relaxed and knew the answers to all questions. A lovely cafe, with a beautiful lake, and food to feed the lovely ducks was available to purchase. Also bought some lovely jam from the gift selection. I also loved seeing the beautiful horses. Worth another visit and perhaps a few more. Thank you Weald and Downland Living Museum for a perfect day” – Elizabeth E, Tripadvisor, July 2020


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