The Downland Shepherds

Thursday 8 October 2020

6.30pm – 8pm


The talk

Based on the writings of Barclay Wills, the talk will capture the lives and work of that generation of Sussex shepherds between the two world wars, when in a changing world, a way of life had remained untouched for centuries. Wills was also able to evocatively record the last team of oxen to plough the Downs, the cold stillness of winter days in the lambing fold, the birdlife and archaeology of the Downs, Findon Fair, the hardness and richness of a shepherd’s life and the unique bond between the shepherd and his flock. Intriguingly, it was Wills who suggested that if he had money he would build a real Sussex museum and he would no doubt have been a great supporter of the Weald & Downland Museum.

The speaker

Richard Pailthorpe is a former director of the Museum and he is joint editor of Barclay Wills’ The Downland Shepherds and an author of local history books.

Participant information

Talks start at 6.30pm and last for about one to one and a half hours.  Tea, coffee and cake will be available between 6pm and 6.30pm.  If you have any dietary requirements please let us know in advance.

Please note that three different locations may be used for the evening talks, so please follow signs on arrival.  We have accessible locations for the talks; please let us know on booking if level access is useful.


£14 per person; £12 for Museum Annual Members; £5 for Weald & Downland Museum volunteers. Online booking via   Book five places and get the sixth place free.

You may be asked for proof of status before being admitted so please bring your Membership card or Volunteer’s badge with you.



Please read our terms and conditions before booking. Cancellations must be made more than four weeks before the date of the talk to be eligible for a refund.