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.
- Back by popular demand ‘Meet Green Father Christmas‘ – dates available are 7, 8, 14, 15 & 20-23 December – Don’t miss out, book today!
- Visit our current exhibition ‘Historic Textiles‘ which is on display until 8 September. Make your way to the gallery space in the Michael Burton Gallery within Longport Farmhouse.
- We currently have an exciting new exhibit buildings under construction: dairy from Eastwick Park.
- Building closures: the medieval house from Sole Street is shut for re-display (opening soon) and the Carpenter’s Workshop. We apologise for any inconvenience.
The Repair Shop:
The Weald & Downland Living Museum is delighted to play host to the BBC’s The Repair Shop, which is filmed on location at the Museum. The programme is created for the BBC by the production company, Ricochet.
We, and The Repair Shop team, are delighted so many visitors enjoy the programme and are inspired by it to visit the Museum. Please be aware, during filming periods The Repair Shop Barn is closed to visitors and tours are not available. The Repair Shop team of experts are busy fixing things, so unfortunately cannot give you repair advice or assess your item. The Repair Shop production team are not able to accept items bought into the museum. If you would like to be considered for the show, please do fill in the online application form here or email the programme at [email protected] – many thanks for your understanding and support.
“Fabulous day at the Historic Life event today (1 September), everyone was so knowledgeable and friendly, I loved chatting to your experts and volunteers, I certainly learnt a lot. Well done, one of my favourite museums – maybe even my favourite now.” Facebook message, September 2019
“Beautiful museum set in wonderful grounds. My 2nd visit this month taking a large group of people…all of whom enjoyed it. Lovely to see trades crafts taking place and speak with the volunteers. Will definitely be back again with more groups.” Trip Advisor, July 2019
“We visited the Museum on Sunday with six young grandchildren and wanted to say thank you to all those involved (the exhibitors and volunteers) for a very enjoyable day; the tolerance and willingness to involve the children in different activities was especially heart warming.” Jo & Paul Brook, June 2019
“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