Step Back in Time at the Weald & Downland Museum in West Sussex England

Step Back in Time at the Weald & Downland Museum in West Sussex England - Lucy Williams Global

Ever wondered what it was like over the last 1000 years in West Sussex in England? Step back in time at the Weald and Downland Living Museum.

The open-air museum is in the beautiful South Downs in Singleton in West Sussex on the South Coast of England.

You can get there by car or bus. If you are coming from London take the train to Chichester and then the bus from Chichester to Singleton.

What to See

On the 40-acre site discover rescued rural buildings from the past and how people lived and worked in them.

There are more than 50 buildings to explore and see demonstrations from cooking in Tudor times to wheat being ground to make flour at the watermill.

This museum is perfect for all ages and you can even bring the dog! I have been visiting this museum since I was a child and have seen the museum grow and get more interesting over the years.

I went on Mothering Sunday in March with my mum and we had a great day walking around each beautiful rescued building from the past. It is fascinating how Sussex was over the years and how buildings have modernised.

The buildings date as far back as 950 AD to the 19th Century and they are from areas in Sussex and have been rescued from being destroyed.

The buildings are carefully dismantled and then rebuilt on site at the Weald and Downland Museum.

There are live demonstrations of how people dressed and worked, that make you feel like you are really back in that era.

The Buildings

There are so many buildings to visit on site some are clustered together around the ‘town centre’ and others are spread over the grounds.

There are barns, farmhouses, a carpenter’s shop, a joinery shop, a plumber’s workshop, a school, a church, stables, a kitchen, shops, sheds, cattle sheds, houses and a watermill.

All from different eras and you can go inside and see how the furniture was at that time. In some of the older homes, the mattresses of the beds were made of straw and the ceilings were very low.

A some of my favourite buildings are; the Granary this building is from 1731 and inside there is a fire pit inside.

In the town centre are the medieval shops from the 15th century and the upper hall that would have been where meetings would have taken place.

The watermill is from the early 17th century and was in use until 1935. It is very interesting to see how wheat was ground and milled to make flour. It is still working today and they sell the flour in the gift shop.

Popular Cottage is a beautiful thatched roof cottage and inside they are normally cooking demonstrations and you can walk around the house and the garden.

The school is a tiny building with small desks, individual chalkboards on each desk. It shows how far schools have come along!

All of the buildings are very interesting to see from the outside and to explore inside. How the architecture has come along over the centuries and how objects have modernised.


At the museum, there is a café to have refreshments, a snack or lunch. The café opens before the museum opens so you can have your morning coffee beforehand. We had cappuccinos and cake and they were very nice.

The Café sits beside the mill pond that gives a lovely view if you are sitting by the window or outside. Also, there are picnic benches around the site, so you can bring own lunch or snacks.

Year round there are seasonal events going on so always check on the Weald and Downland website before you go to see what’s on.

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Happy Travels

Step Back in Time at the Weald & Downland Museum in West Sussex England - Lucy Williams Global

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