On 5 September 2021, the Weald & Downland Living Museum turned 51. As we approached our anniversary weekend, we decided to take a look back over the last 5 decades and mention some of the key events that have taken place at the Weald & Downland Living Museum over the past 51 years!
Let’s take a look back at some of the key events from the 1980’s:
- The dismantling and reconstruction of the house from Walderton, West Sussex (15th and 17th centuries), led by Richard Harris, is the subject of a full-length documentary in the BBC Chronicle series.
- The decade sees enormous growth with a large number of buildings rescued from destruction, and the opening of many newly re-erected buildings on site, including the medieval house from North Cray; the medieval shop from Horsham; the Wiston wagon shed; the Petersfield brick drying shed; the carpenter’s shop from Windlesham; the medieval barn from Cowfold, and Lurgashall Watermill which, after the creation of millponds, begins regular production of stoneground wholemeal flour.
- The pioneering Bayleaf Medieval Farmstead project opens, following an intensive research and furnishing of the house, garden, farmyard and barn, including sourcing appropriate farm livestock.
- The Museum wins the Times/Shell Community Museum of the Year Award.
On the anniversary weekend of the opening of the Museum, we spent the weekend focusing on the buildings at the heart of the Museum collection – their construction methods, building forms, and conservation. This weekend also paid tribute to Roger Champion (1937-2021), Museum Master Carpenter.