Weald and Downland Open Air Museum

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A group of buildings at the museum

The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is an open air museum at grid reference SU 873 128 in Singleton, Sussex, England. The Museum covers 50 acres (20 ha), with nearly 50 historic buildings dating from the thirteenth to nineteenth centuries, along with gardens, farm animals, walks and a lake.

The buildings at the Museum were all threatened with destruction but were carefully dismantled, conserved and rebuilt in their original form at the Museum. These buildings help the Museum bring to life the homes, farmsteads and rural industries of the last seven hundred years. Many buildings situated there are over four hundred years old, and still stand strong. Along with the buildings, there are "hands-on" activities, like cooking, and weaving, and a number of yearly activities, including glass painting, and bonfire nights.

The Museum is situated at Singleton, 7 miles (11 km) north of Chichester, on the A286, and is a registered charity.[1]

Buildings[edit]

Barn[edit]

The barn was originally built at Prior's Leaze Farm, Hambrook, Sussex, in 1771.[2] It has a timber frame of oak and elm clad with weatherboards, and a roof thatched with reed.[2] The barn houses an exhibition showing traditional building materials and building methods,[3] including displays on bricklaying, glass work, lead work, iron work, tiling and thatching.[2]

Bayleaf barn[edit]

This timber-framed barn dates from 1536 and originally stood at Cowfold, Sussex. It forms a farmstead with Bayleaf farmhouse.[4]

Bayleaf farmhouse[edit]

The house being dismantled

Bayleaf farmhouse is a timber-framed Wealden hall house with a peg tile roof, dating from the early fifteenth century. The building has four rooms on the ground floor and two on the first floor.[5] The house has vertical shutters to some of the windows, and a garderobe on the first floor.[6] It was originally built at Ide Hill,[7] Kent, and was donated to the Museum in 1968 by the East Surrey Water Company as it was threatened with destruction by the creation of Bough Beech Reservoir.[8] The building was dismantled in the winter of 1968–69.[5]

Brick-drying shed[edit]

The brick-drying shed was originally at Petersfield, Hampshire. It dates from the 18th century and houses an exhibition of traditional brickmaking.[9]

Carpenter's shop[edit]

The carpenter's shop was originally built at Windlesham, Surrey, and dates from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.[10]

Cattle sheds[edit]

There are three open-fronted cattle sheds at the Museum. They originally stood at Goodwood, Kirdford and Lurgashall in Sussex and date from the eighteenth century.[11]

Charcoal Burner's camp[edit]

The Charcoal Burner's camp shows the process of making charcoal. The kiln had to be watched whilst the charcoal was being produced, so the burner lived on-site in a hut.[12]

Court barn[edit]

Court barn dates from the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century. It was originally built at Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire. The building houses an exhibition on the use of lead in buildings and plumbing, stonemasonry and stained glass work.[13] The barn was dismantled in 1976 and re-erected at the Museum in 1980. The work was funded by the Worshipful Company of Plumbers.[14]

Crane[edit]

The crane was made by John Smith Ltd of Keighley, Yorkshire, in 1900 and was originally installed at a farm in Alton, Hampshire. It is rated at 5 tons capacity and is worked by hand. It forms part of a reconstructed timber yard.[15]

Farmhouse[edit]

The farmhouse dates from the sixteenth century with extensions and alterations through to the twentieth century. It was originally built at Folkestone, Kent, and was threatened by the construction of the Channel Tunnel. It was dismantled in 1992 and currently serves as the Museum's shop and offices.[16]

Granary[edit]

The granary was built in 1731[17] at West Ashling,[18] Sussex. It has a timber frame filled with bricks, and a thatched roof. The building measures 20 feet (6.10 m) square, which makes it one of the larger granaries. It is built on sixteen staddle stones as an anti-vermin measure.[17]

Gridshell[edit]

The Gridshell building

The Weald and Downland Gridshell was constructed in 2000–2002. An innovative design built primarily to create an accessible store for the Museum's rural life collection, it also houses the Museum's conservation workshops, and an exhibition area is in the foyer. The building has won eight awards, and was runner-up for the RIBA 2003 Stirling Prize.[19]

Hall[edit]

The derelict house in 1971. The portion saved is on the right of the picture.

This medieval hall house was originally built at Boarhunt, Hampshire, in the fifteenth century.[20] It is of cruck frame construction, with brick walls and a thatched roof. The building was rescued in 1971. Photographs show that the house was extended to about double its original size but only the medieval section of the house was dismantled and re-erected at the Museum.[21] The hall is about 17 feet (5.18 m) square in plan, with a service room at one end. The other end of the original building was lost due to various extensions and alterations over the centuries. The reconstructed building contains about 30% of the original timbers, which would normally prevent its reconstruction. An exception has been made in this case as the surviving original timbers are well distributed, and because of its unique cruck frame construction.[22]

Horse Whim[edit]

The horse whim is housed in an open-fronted thatched shed that was originally at Charlwood, Surrey. It was used to raise water from a well. The horse whim was originally built at West Kingsdown, Kent.[23] It was rescued by the Museum in 1980[24] and re-erected in 2000.[23]

House, Lavant[edit]

This house dates from the seventeenth century. It originally stood at Lavant, West Sussex. Externally it has been restored to its seventeenth century appearance, but it has a modern interior. The building is used as an education room for school and youth visits to the Museum.[25]

House, Walderton[edit]

This house was originally built at Walderton, Sussex. It has a timber frame dating from the fifteenth century, with flint external walls added in the seventeenth century. It has a thatched roof.[26]

House extension[edit]

This building was the rear extension of a house in Reigate, Surrey, added in the seventeenth century. It has two carved fireplaces and there are the remains of wall paintings. This building is not currently open to the public.[27]

Joinery shop[edit]

The joinery shop was originally built at Witley, Surrey, and dates from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. It houses an exhibition on building construction.[10]

Market Hall[edit]

The Market Hall

The Market Hall dates from the seventeenth century and was originally built at Titchfield, Hampshire. It has a lock-up on the ground floor and the first-floor room served as the town council chamber.[28] When the Market Hall was dismantled and re-erected at the Museum, it was the second time that had happened. The building had been moved from its original location in the centre of Titchfield to another site in the mid-nineteenth century.[29]

Medieval house, North Cray[edit]

This medieval hall house was originally built at North Cray, Kent. It is timber-framed with a peg tile roof. The external timbers are painted red.[25]

Medieval house, Sole Street[edit]

This medieval hall house was originally built at Sole Street, Kent. It has a timber frame and peg tile roof. The building is used as a restaurant and tea room.[30]

Medieval shops[edit]

This building dates from the fifteenth century and houses a pair of shops. It was originally built at Horsham, Sussex. The three-storey building has jettied upper floors. It is timber-framed with a peg tile roof and peg tiles to the upper floors on at least one side. The upper floors serve as the Museum's library and are not normally open to the public.[31]

Open shed[edit]

The open shed dates from the eighteenth century. It was originally built at Charlwood, Surrey. It served as a cart shed and also a saw shed.[32] The shed was dismantled in 1999, the work being partly funded by the British Airports Authority. When it was reconstructed at the Museum in 2000, the horse whim from West Kingsdown, Kent, was installed.[25]

Pendean farmhouse[edit]

Pendean farmhouse

This hall house was originally built at West Lavington, Sussex,[33] in 1609.[34] Instead of an open hall there is a central chimney with fireplaces on both ground and first floors. It retains some features from sixteenth-century practice, such as unglazed windows.[33] The building has a timber frame, with brick infill to the ground floor and wattle and daub infill to the first floor. It was re-erected at the Museum in 1975, but the discovery of a postcard of the building at its original site showed that the chimney had not been reconstructed correctly. The chimney was rebuilt in January 2001 to a more accurate profile.[34] The house is furnished in period style.[35]

Poplar cottage[edit]

Poplar Cottage

Poplar cottage is a small timber-framed, thatched building dating from the seventeenth century. It was originally built at Washington, Sussex.[36] The building dates from between 1550 and 1630. It was donated to the Museum in 1982 and carefully dismantled in that year. It was re-erected in 1999, the work being funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.[37]

Rebuilding

Work on re-erecting the building began on 10 April 1999, the timbers having been prepared over the previous winter.[38] The outside wall of the smoke bay was infilled with sandstone, whilst the rest of the building was infilled with wattle and daub. The roof was thatched.[39]

Plumber's workshop[edit]

The plumber's workshop dates from the late nineteenth century and was originally built at Newick, Sussex. The upper floor served as a glazier's workshop.[40]

Pugmill house[edit]

This brick- and stone-built building originally stood at Redford, Sussex. It housed a horse-powered pug mill, which was used to prepare clay for brickmaking.[41]

Saw-pit shed[edit]

This nineteenth-century shed was originally built at Sheffield Park, Sussex. It houses a range of tools used in the conversion of trees to finished timber.[25]

School[edit]

This building dates from the nineteenth century, and was used as a school for educating poor children in the early part of that century. It was originally built at West Wittering and is of brick and flint construction with a tiled roof.[42]

Stable[edit]

The stable dates from the mid-eighteenth century and was originally built at Watersfield, Sussex. It is timber-framed, clad in weatherboarding and has a peg tile roof. The building can house up to five horses or oxen.[43]

Shelter shed[edit]

The open-fronted shelter shed was originally built at Coldwaltham, Hampshire.[44]

Smithy[edit]

The smithy was built in the mid-nineteenth century. It was originally at Southwater, Sussex.[45]

Treadwheel[edit]

The treadwheel dates from the early seventeenth century. It was probably not worked by a horse due to its size. The treadwheel is housed in a small timber-framed building with a thatched roof and was originally built at Catherington, Hampshire.[46]

Toll cottage[edit]

The toll cottage is typical of those of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It originally stood on a road built in 1807 at Beeding, Sussex. It has been set up with a recreated tollgate and milestone.[47]

Upper Hall[edit]

This building dates from the fifteenth century and has a long, open room on the first floor, which probably served as a communal meeting place. It was originally built at Crawley, Sussex,[48] behind Tree House—the old manor house of Crawley.[49] The building was threatened with demolition due to an extension to an office building. Of the original four bays, two complete bays remained, plus a third of another. The original building would have been some 36 feet (10.97 m) long. The original roof covering would have been Horsham Slab, which was replaced when the building was re-erected at the Museum.[50] Only the centre part of the present building is the original. The ends are modern reconstructions replicating contemporary practice. The building is used as the Museum's library and meeting place and is not normally open to the public.[48] The Worshipful Company of Drapers donated £5,000, which was used to part-fund the dismantling and re-erection of the building at the Museum.[51]

Wagon shed[edit]

The wagon shed dates from the eighteenth century. It was originally built at Wiston, Sussex.[52]

Watermill[edit]

For an explanation of the machinery, see Mill machinery.

The watermill dates from the early seventeenth century,[53] and was working until 1935.[54] It is in working order, and flour from the mill is sold in the Museum shop. The mill was originally built at Lurgashall, Sussex,[53] to serve Petworth House and Park. At one time it may have been used in the grinding of bark for use in the tanning process.[55] In 1968, the derelict mill was damaged by floods, causing the millstones to fall through the rotting floors.[56]

The mill was originally powered by a tributary of the River Rother. At one time the mill had two waterwheels, each working two pairs of millstones. The 12 feet (3.66 m) diameter overshot waterwheel, which was originally cast at Cocking Foundry for Coster's Mill, West Lavington, drives the two pairs of millstone, a sack hoist and flour dresser.[18] The machinery in the mill was installed in 1911.[57] The mill was donated to the Museum in 1973 and carefully dismantled,[54] at which time evidence was found of a previous use of the site as a Hammer mill.[58] Re-erection and restoration of the machinery took seven years.[54]

The sounds of the mechanism grinding flour.

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Whittaker's cottages[edit]

Whittaker's cottages are a pair of timber-built cottages under a slate roof. They were originally built at Ashtead, Surrey. One cottage is furnished in nineteenth-century style and the other is unfurnished to better show its construction.[59]

Windpump[edit]

Westham windpump
Origin
Grid reference SU 8744 1285
Coordinates 50°54′29″N 0°45′29″W / 50.908°N 0.758°W / 50.908; -0.758Coordinates: 50°54′29″N 0°45′29″W / 50.908°N 0.758°W / 50.908; -0.758
Operator(s) Weald and Downland Open Air Museum
Year built Mid nineteenth century
Information
Purpose Pumping water
Type Hollow post mill
Number of sails Four
Type of sails Boarded sails
Winding Windvane
Type of pump Plunger pump

The windpump is a hollow post mill that was built in the mid-nineteenth century. It was originally at Westham, Sussex (grid reference TQ 640 043)[60] and was marked on an 1860 map.[61] The windpump was re-erected at the Museum in 1975.[62]

Winkhurst kitchen[edit]

This sixteenth-century building was originally part of a larger building at Sundridge, Kent. It is timber-framed with a crown-post roof.[63] The building dates from between 1492 and 1537. It was the first building acquired by the Museum. Dismantled in 1968, it was re-erected at the Museum at a site that later proved to be unsuitable. Therefore, it was decided that the building should again be dismantled and re-erected at another site within the Museum, with modern extensions designed to allow the building to be better interpreted by visitors.[64] The building was dismantled in December 2001[65] and reconstructed for the second time between February and May 2002.[66] The interior of the building has been re-created as a working Tudor kitchen.

Awards[edit]

The museum won the National Heritage and Illustrated London News Museum of the Year Award in 1975.[67]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Registered Charity no. 946307 at the Charity Commission
  2. ^ a b c "Hambrook Barn (Sussex)". Lionel A Smith. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  3. ^ "Barn from Hambrook in Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  4. ^ "Bayleaf Farmstead - Barn From Cowfold in Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  5. ^ a b "Bayleaf - a Wealden hall house from Chiddingstone, Kent". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  6. ^ "Wealdon House "Bayleaf"". Lionel A Smith. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  7. ^ "The Village of Ide Hill". Historic Kent. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  8. ^ "Bayleaf Farmstead from Kent". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  9. ^ "Brick Drying Shed from Petersfield, Hampshire". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  10. ^ a b "Joiner's Shop from Witley and Carpenter's Shop from Windlesham, Surrey". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  11. ^ "Cattle Sheds from Lurgashall, Kirdford and Goodwood in Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  12. ^ "Charcoal Burners Camp". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  13. ^ "Barn from Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  14. ^ "The Worshipful Company of Plumbers". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  15. ^ "Timber Yard". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  16. ^ "Longport Farmhouse from Folkestone, Kent". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  17. ^ a b "Granary From Littlehampton, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  18. ^ a b "Water Mill from Lurgashall, Sussex". Lionel A Smith. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  19. ^ "Downland Gridshell". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  20. ^ "Hall from Boarhunt, Hampshire". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  21. ^ "Boarhunt Hall House and its origins". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  22. ^ "BASE CRUCK COTTAGE FROM BOARHUNT, EAST HAMPSHIRE". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  23. ^ a b "Horse Whim from West Kingsdown, Kent". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  24. ^ "Horse Whim - Construction Progress". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  25. ^ a b c d "Building from Lavant, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  26. ^ "House from Walderton, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  27. ^ "House Extension from Reigate, Surrey". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  28. ^ "Market Hall from Titchfield, Hampshire". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  29. ^ "a note on titchfield market hall". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  30. ^ "Medieval House from Sole Street, Kent". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  31. ^ "Medieval Shops from Horsham, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  32. ^ "Open Shed from Charlwood , Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  33. ^ a b "Pendean Farmhouse from Midhurst, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  34. ^ a b "Pendean Farmhouse benefits from Designation funding". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  35. ^ "Pendean – A farmhouse from Midhurst". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  36. ^ "Poplar Cottage from Washington, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  37. ^ "Rebuilding Poplar Cottage - Introduction". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  38. ^ "Rebuilding Poplar Cottage - Repair and Re-erection of the Timber Frame". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  39. ^ "Rebuilding Poplar Cottage - Infilling the frame". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  40. ^ "Plumbers Workshop from Newick, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  41. ^ "Pugmill House from Redford, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  42. ^ "School from West Wittering, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  43. ^ "Stable from Watersfield, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  44. ^ "Shelter Shed". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  45. ^ "Smithy from Southwater, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  46. ^ "Treadwheel from Catherington, Hampshire". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  47. ^ "Toll Cottage from Beeding in Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  48. ^ a b "Upper Hall from Crawley, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  49. ^ Gwynne, Peter (1990). "6 – Mediaeval Growth". A History of Crawley (1st Edition ed.). Chichester: Phillimore & Co. p. 57. ISBN 0-85033-718-6. 
  50. ^ "The jettied upper hall from crawley". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  51. ^ "Recent Donations to the Museum". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  52. ^ "Wagon Shed from Wiston, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  53. ^ a b "Watermill from Lurgashall, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  54. ^ a b c "Grist to LURGASHALL WATERMILL". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  55. ^ "Lurgashall Watermill". Sussex Mills Group. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  56. ^ "Lurgashall mill". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  57. ^ "The Mill". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  58. ^ "Lurgashall Mill and Lake Construction". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  59. ^ "Whittaker's Cottages from Ashtead, Surrey". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  60. ^ "Windpump from Pevensey, Sussex". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  61. ^ "Correspondence". Sussex Mills Group. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  62. ^ "Windpump from Pevensey". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  63. ^ "Winkhurst Tudor Kitchen from Sundridge, Kent". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  64. ^ "Relocation of Winkhurst Farm and Reinterpretation as a Tudor Kitchen - Introduction". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  65. ^ "Relocation of Winkhurst Farm and Reinterpretation as a Tudor Kitchen - Dismantling the Building". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  66. ^ "Relocation of Winkhurst Farm and Reinterpretation as a Tudor Kitchen - New Build". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  67. ^ "The Museum of the Year Award". Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 

External links[edit]