Autumn Countryside Show

Celebrating the Harvest

Autumn has always been the moment to celebrate an abundant harvest and at the Weald & Downland Living Museum we have traditionally marked the occasion with our Autumn & Countryside Show. Previous visitors to the show have experienced the immersive autumnal sights and sounds of the countryside which showcased traditional countryside activities.

Working plough horses have been a firm favourite, with the Museum’s own Shire and Percheron horses among the teams at work. Vintage tractors worked alongside the horses to prepare the ground for sowing and visitors were able to see a diverse collection of tractors and farm implements. The celebrations also included a horticultural show, falconry and gun dog displays.

The steam-powered threshing of the Museum’s wheat crop – separating the grain from the straw – has also been one of the past events’ main attractions. In the days before combine harvesters, the ‘threshing train’ was a common sight and usually comprised a steam traction engine, threshing drum, elevator, and living van used by the engine driver and his mate.

From 2021 onwards we are taking a different approach to the events programme at the Museum. Rather than focus on a small handful of events we want to offer more… more demonstrations, more activities, more living history!

You will see from our 2021 calendar a larger programme of Historic Life Weekends, each with a focus on a given topic around which the activity will revolve.

In July, our Historic Life Weekend: Agriculture will focus on farming of both crops and animals through history. Our heavy horses will also feature throughout the year working the fields and demonstrating the crucial role horses played throughout the centuries for our rural ancestors.

Click here to see What’s On

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