The Museum has begun work on a project which will enable us to tell a unique story about our local history in the 20th century, increasing our focus on the rural heritage of the last 100 years.
The building at the heart of our new project is a house on one of the Land Settlement Association’s (LSA) smallholding plots at Sidlesham in West Sussex – a LSA manager’s house, owned by Godfrey Shirt (who was in charge of Central Services, including transport).
As with all of the rescued buildings in our collection, this building was under threat of demolition. Negotiations for the building’s rescue by the Museum proved successful, and dismantling began in September 2017.
The house is a relatively modern brick-built, two-up two-down, detached house built in the mid-1930s it has a distinctive appearance with a tiled, Mansard roof – a shallow pitched roof which then drops steeply to completely cover the upper floor.
The building retains many of its original internal features and the exterior has not been altered or extended (as have the majority of other LSA dwellings). As with all our previous dismantling projects, taking down the LSA building must follow a specific, logical sequence, largely the reverse of its construction.
Before any pieces of the building can be physically removed, detailed plans must be drawn up, both architectural and for numbering purposes, so that reconstruction can be as accurate as possible.
Although a very interesting building of relatively complete 1930s design and build, re-erection of the manager’s house at the Museum will not be purely for architectural or constructional interest, but also for the social history surrounding the LSA movement which the house represents.
Our grateful thanks to the house’s current owners for their support.
For full details of the project and photos, including the fascinating cataloguing and dismantling process, please see our Museum Magazine this Autumn.