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.
- For 2019 we are introducing a wonderful Summer Season programme of cultural evenings of film, theatre, music and opera from 20 July to 1 September – Bookings are now open.
- Our summer opening hours are now in operation. We will be open from 10.30am-6pm (cafe open 9am-4pm).
- Now Open, our ‘Museum Herbarium’ exhibition. Find out more about the plants in the Museum’s six historic gardens. Open until Sunday, 23 June 2019 in the Michael Burton Gallery within Longport Farmhouse.
- We currently have two exciting new exhibit buildings under construction: a dairy and bakehouse. Find out how to donate towards their completion!
- Building closures: our watermill from Lurgashall will be closed on Monday, 17 and Tuesday, 18 June for maintenance and the medieval house from Sole Street is shut for re-display (opening soon). We apologise for any inconvenience.
“A Journey Through Old England – We spent an extremely pleasant day at this very interesting and informative outdoor museum displaying a large variety of old buildings etc. showing their constructions and the general way of life in times gone by. There are various demonstrations such as in the Mill and Blacksmiths. Staff were very knowledgeable and described things in an interesting and personal way. There are a number of exhibits indoors including many interactive displays.” Trip Advisor, May 2019
“A fantastic place to recharge your batteries, so peaceful for walks. And when they have the events so much to see and do.” Facebook, May 2019
“A beautiful place with so much amazing history. Children and dog friendly place. Yummy cakes and coffee and so tranquil. We are members and will continue to be.” Facebook, April 2019
“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