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 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.
- Visit our new exhibition ‘Just Champion’: Replica furniture made for the Museum by Roger Champion since the 1970’s. Come along and see the works of the talented Mr Champion, a collection of replica furniture throughout the ages until 26 April in the Michael Burton Gallery within Longport Farmhouse.
- Our winter opening hours come into operation from Sunday 28 October onwards. We will be open from 10.30am-4pm (cafe open 9am-4pm).
- We currently have two exciting new exhibit buildings under construction: a dairy and bakehouse. Find out how to donate towards their completion!
- Building closures: the medieval house from Sole Street is shut for re-display (opens early 2019). We apologise for any inconvenience.
“Great day out even in the rain ! Fantastic buildings and volunteers telling about the history of the buildings , very good cafe and shop.” Trip Advisor, February 2019
“We visited the Museum on a coldish but clear day last week. It was so interesting and the fact that the buildings are spread out was a bonus for us because it meant that we got a bit of a walk as we explored. I would like to re-visit to have more time to really get to see everything. We just had the afternoon and that is probably not enough. The re-built houses and other rural buildings are really impressive. The cottage with two bedrooms and two tiny ground floor rooms is intriguing – to think that a large family was brought up in that tiny space. The staff in the shop were delightful – helpful and obviously so proud of the Museum. Definitely recommended.” Trip Advisor, January 2019