Chiltern Open Air Museum

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Prefabricated post-war home at the museum - Universal House, Mark 3, steel frame clad with corrugated asbestos cement

Chiltern Open Air Museum is an independent open-air museum of vernacular buildings and a tourist attraction located near Chalfont St Peter and Chalfont St. Giles in the Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire, England. The museum is a registered charity under English law[1] and has a small number of full-time staff and a volunteer workforce of approximately 200.


The museum was founded in 1976 and aims to rescue and restore common English buildings from the Chilterns, which might otherwise have been destroyed or demolished. The buildings have been relocated to the museum's 45-acre (180,000 m2) site, which includes woodland and parkland. The collection has more than 30 buildings on view including barns, other traditional farm buildings and houses.

Buildings of interest include a 1940s prefab from Amersham, a reconstruction of an Iron Age house, a Victorian toll house from High Wycombe, a "Tin Chapel" from Henton, Oxfordshire and a forge from Garston, Hertfordshire. A fine pair of cottages from 57 Compton Avenue at Leagrave, near Luton which started out as a weather-boarded thatched barn with central double doors in the early 18th century. In the late 18th century the barn was converted into two labourers' cottages.

Celtic roundhouse at the museum, 1994

Recently, the museum has undertaken reconstruction of a wychert style farmhouse. The museum's collection includes 16 buildings that are in storage and due for re-erection as and when the museum's funds permit.

The site is also used as a filming location, and has been included in well-known productions such as Downton Abbey, Inside No. 9, Call the Midwife,[2]Grantchester, Midsommer Murders, Horrible Histories and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

The site has an environmentally-friendly ethos. In June 2013, the Museum won the environmental category of the Pride of Bucks award, sponsored by B P Collins.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charity Commission. Chiltern Open Air Museum, registered charity no. 272381.
  2. ^ "Chiltern Open Air Museum Website". Chiltern Open Air Museum. Chiltern Open Air Museum. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Video: All our Pride of Bucks Winners". Get Bucks. Get Bucks. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°38′10.87″N 0°32′29.05″W / 51.6363528°N 0.5414028°W / 51.6363528; -0.5414028