Weald & Downland Blog


The Bakers in the Newdigate Bakehouse are preparing for the upcoming Historic Life Weekend – Brewing through the Ages by baking some beverage related recipes. These have been test baked to ensure they are up to the high standard required at the Bakehouse. First off was a Beer Bread that proved to be a very... (read more)

Welcoming InterActiv work experience

Welcoming and supporting InterActiv work experience volunteers from Portsmouth in a new social enterprise project here at Weald & Downland Living Museum  The InterActiv social enterprise project is part of the Portsmouth Charity, Enable Ability. This new project aims to help participants (of whom are registered with a disability or who have additional needs) gain... (read more)

Go wild at the Museum!

Not just a home for fantastic historic buildings, the Weald & Downland Living Museum is a great place for spotting the huge range of wildlife that makes its home in this beautiful West Sussex downland. We have recorded over 53 bird species living here or visiting us during the year – some, like the mallards... (read more)

Ever tried a Sussex Wassailing Cake? Be sure to visit our Bakehouse this Saturday (18/01/20)!

In preparation for the Wassailing that is taking place in the Museum this Saturday (18/1), the Bakehouse has been looking for local recipes using apples and cider in a cake, and trail baked a Sussex Wassailing Cake recipe. The feedback from staff and volunteers has been very positive. So we will be adding it to... (read more)

Wassailing Day – Saturday 18 January 2020

Visitors to the Weald & Downland Living Museum on Saturday 18 January can also find out about wassailing that day. This is one element of the Stories weekend, of our first Historic Life Weekend for 2020. About Wassailing The word ‘Wassail’ comes from the Saxon, ‘Waes Hael’, which means ‘Good Health’. It was a toast... (read more)

Calling all collectors! People’s Show 2020

As part of the Weald & Downland Living Museum’s 50th Anniversary we will be holding a ‘People’s Show’ from 13 February until 11 May 2020. At the Museum we have around 16,500 items in our collection dealing with rural life and building activities, but we also know that some of you have wonderful collections too... (read more)

Square Rule Framing

A response to Chalara ash dieback by Joe Thompson of Sussex Oak and Iron Common Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) one of the most abundant of our native hardwoods and often known as an “aristocrat” of the tree world as it is the last to come (into leaf) and the first to leave; is currently suffering from... (read more)

Music and song at the museum

Jez Smith, Historic Life Interpreter, describes his historic music research: My interest is not only in the music and the songs themselves, but most importantly, their social context in which they were written and performed. The study of this music can give another dimension to our understanding of how people lived in the past. Music... (read more)

Blacksmith creates latch for new dairy

Volunteer blacksmith, Nick Wedlock (pictured right), recounts a recent job for the Weald & Downlands Living Museum’s new dairy building: “I was recently asked if it might be possible for me to make a new thumb latch for the dairy building that is being re-erected on the Museum site. It was to be based on... (read more)

A charcoal burn at the Museum

As part of the Historic Life weekend: Wood Craft and Uses we will have a charcoal burn at the Museum. The process starts well in advance of the weekend, with wood being felled and sorted for the burn and scything of grass to top the clamp. Led by Rural Life Interpreter, Jon Roberts, a small... (read more)