Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Weald and Downland Museum, Sussex

I've been gadding about again, this time to the Weald and Downland Museum just north of Chichester. Amazingly the charity and its museum this year celebrates its 40th birthday. It was created to help preserve historic buildings in Sussex, Kent, Surrey and Hampshire, which were being threatened with destruction because of major construction projects. The buildings were dismantled brick by brick, each piece labelled, and then reconstructed at the Museum. The Longport Farmhouse, from Newington, Kent, which represents periods of construction from 1500 to 1900, was moved from the site of the Eurotunnel entrance and in now the museum's ticket office and shop!

On the left of the picture below is the Market Hall from Titchfield, Hampshire, which dates from 1620. To the right, the black and white timber-framed building is a 15th Century Medieval shop from Horsham in Sussex. The brown and white timber-framed building, which dates from 1500, is an Upper Hall from Crawley.

The most impressive building, which has been placed in its own little mini estate is the 'Bayleaf Farmstead'. A Wealden House from Chiddingstone in Kent, it is early Tudor.

This is an example of an open-halled farmhouse. Below is a photo of the interior, which has been period 'dressed'.

The pair of white farm labourers cottages in the photo below are mid-Victorian and come from Ashtead in Surrey, which is barely two miles from where I live. They were removed from the village when the railway line was extended.
There are still many examples of these timber-framed and timber-clad houses in situ in mid-Surrey.


  1. Your photos are lovely, and I adore museums of any kind. So many stories among all those bricks! Maybe even ghosts? :-)

  2. Glad you liked them, Liz, although I felt no ghostly presence in any of the houses! However I'm off to north Wales soon and one of my tourist targets is Llangollen to which two young, aristocratic 18th Century women fled to escape marriage in Ireland. There they lived together well into old age. Theirs is fascinating story, and their home is somewhat eccentric. I'll post photos when I can. Maggi

  3. Oooh, that sounds like such a cool story! Looking forward to the pics!

  4. Thanks for sharing your travels, Maggi.
    I really enjoyed reading your blog.