Domestic & Traditional Craft Demonstrations
There are different domestic demonstrations on most days in our exhibit houses – dairying and cooking, spinning or weaving, the preparation of natural dyes for wool and linen, using herbs to make medicines and cosmetics, cleaning and laundering. Several of our houses are furnished with replica items to recreate historic domestic interiors; you are welcome to sit on the chairs, touch the bedding and handle the domestic objects.
We also have a programme of rural craft demonstrations (such as blacksmithing, milling, pole-lathe turning and scything) and occasional demonstrations of traditional building techniques (such as lead working, stonemasonry, lime slaking, thatching or wattle-and-daubing). We often have spinning demonstrations in different houses – Hangleton, Boarhunt, Bayleaf, Walderton, Poplar and Gonville – using spinning methods appropriate to the period.
Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that a particular demonstration will be available for your visit.
In the Tudor kitchen we prepare and cook the type of food that would have been eaten by the occupants of Bayleaf farmstead in the 1540s. You can taste much of the food: hand-made butter and cheese, griddle bread cooked over an open fire, fried ‘chewits’ (pastry filled with spinach, onion and other vegetables), pottage made from seasonal vegetables (including many older varieties) and herbs or – to our palates – unfamiliar combinations of sweet and savoury (such as beef and prune pottage with walnuts). Learn more about demonstrations in Winkhurst Tudor kitchen here.
We also run day courses on subjects such as herbs, meat preparation, Christmas food and domestic household activities – listed under Traditional Rural Trades and Crafts on the Courses section of this website.
Historic Clothing Project
The Museum Historic Clothing Project was started in 2007 and a needlework group was formed to work on making replica historic clothing in as authentic a way as possible – clothes which could be worn on the Museum site at certain times as part of the interpretation of our domestic buildings, and which could be a tool to discover more about how textiles and clothing were used and worn in the past. Find out more about our Historic Clothing Project here.
Please click here to see our historic clothing project blog with up-to-date information and images. You can also access the Poplar Clothing Project video here.