Monday 8th May

A historical walk

Today we took a trip out to a place we have long planned to visit properly: the Weald & Downland Living Museum. We have visited the site for country shows and Chrissy has seen parts of it before, of which more anon, but we have never seen all of it. it is set in beautiful Sussex countryside.

Most people will know of this place as the location for TV’s “Repair Shop”, but that area was out of bounds. I grabbed a quick photograph of the “No Photogrphy” sign.

The museum consists of over fifty rescued and relocated buildings over a forty acre site, with about a two mile meandering walk between them, keeping each historical period separate. most of the buildings are furnished with appropriate original or reproduction artefacts.

The earliest is an Anglo-Saxon hall, the interior of which looks and smells as if the occupants have just moved out.

In fact, maybe they have, judging from the anachronism behind the door…

Before reaching the earliest building the woodland path

takes you to the newest building, specially constructed as an education and working area for the site.

Interior of the Gridshell building

From the Anglo-Saxon we passed through a traditional working woodland area to the Mediaeval.

The crane can be worked by two people. The traction engine appears to be there simply for blokes to tinker with.

In the mediaeval area are an early hall, with a form of loft for sleeping and then to a later building with brick chimneys and a central hearth as we know it. The latter house has upstairs bedrooms.

Early Mediaeval hall
Mediaeval house

Moving on we came to a Tudor farm with several barns and other outbuildings.

Tudor Farmhouse
Tudor interior. 1
Tudor interior. 2

In the barns are many preserved agricultural tools from many periods.

“Now what does this one do?”

Also around the site are such things as preserved well equipment, like these two.

A treadmill
Horse or donkey-driven

A collection of more modern preserved buildings are gathered together almost as a hamlet.

Several of the houses of all periods have appropriate gardens.

And a collection of older buildings clustered together. Unfortunately one is being worked on.

This group holds a personal memory for Chrissy. in 2003 it was used to represent Blindheim in this documentary

Chrissy and some other members of Lord Orkney’s Regiment (reenact ours) were filmed fighting in and around the buildings. I had just had a hip replaced and missed the fun, but oddly received more money for hiring out my Corporal’s suit than I would have for wearing it!

Other buildings grouped together are a working water mill, forge and bakery. The mill and bakery were in operation on Monday.

There is also a toll house with an amazingly complex list of tariffs.

All in all we had a pleasant and informative day out and came home exhausted.

Published by

General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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