Weald & Downland Living Museum



Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0EU

Tel: 01243 811363

Weald & Downland Living Museum


The Weald & Downland Living Museum is a hidden gem in the South East, quintessentially British in a picture perfect setting.

Discover their fascinating collection of over 50 historic rescued rural homes and buildings, from as early as 950AD, set amongst 40 acres of beautiful landscape in the South Downs National Park. Their collection tells the untold stories of the people who lived and worked in rural South East England for over 1,000 years.

They host a varying programme of domestic and craft demonstrations, including cooking in their Tudor kitchen; blacksmithing in the Victorian smithy; plus seasonal demonstrations. You can also take a walk in the woods and bring your dog (they are a dog friendly site), visit the Waterside Café or enjoy your own picnic.

Their extensive artefact collection is housed in their award-winning Downland Gridshell Building – where you can take a free tour daily (Mon-Fri) at 2.00pm.

The Museum also hosts an extensive programme of adult-education in ‘Traditional Rural Trades & Crafts’ and ‘Historic Building Conservation’ courses

About the museum

The Weald & Downland Living Museum was launched in 1967 by a small group of enthusiasts led by the Museum’s founder, the late Dr. J.R. Armstrong MBE. It opened to the public on 5 September 1970.

The principal aim of the founding group was to establish a centre that could rescue representative examples of vernacular buildings from the South East of England, and thereby to generate an increased public awareness and interest in the built environment. Read our founder’s article, Ancient Monument Society – Series 20 1973 – The Open Air Museum Idea and Reality – J R Armstrong, reproduced with the kind permission of the Ancient Monuments Society.

The Museum’s foundation coincided with a growing national interest in historic buildings and this general public interest has resulted in strong support for the Museum from its inception.

The Museum promotes the retention of buildings on their original sites unless there is no alternative, and we encourage an informed and sympathetic approach to their preservation and continuing use. Only a small number of representative buildings can be brought to the Museum for inclusion in the collection.

The Museum offers advice to people involved in the conservation of buildings. Where we cannot give advice ourselves, we will attempt to provide suitable contacts with other experts.

As well as illustrating the history of original building styles and types, the Museum has good collections representing country crafts and industries, building trades and agriculture. Objects from these collections can be seen displayed in buildings on the site, and in the open access store in the basement of the Downland Gridshell.

The Museum is a Registered Charity. It receives no regular grants or subsidies. A large number of volunteers contribute to its daily running and many organisations have helped financially or in kind. If you would like to help, please contact the Museum Director.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult£15.50 per ticket
Child (5-17)£7.50 per ticket
Concession£13.50 per ticket
Disabled (with free carer)£8.00 per ticket
One Adult Family (1 adult + 3 children)£27.50 per ticket
One Grandparent Family (1 senior & 3 children)£26.50 per ticket
Senior (60+)£13.50 per ticket
Student (18+)£12.00 per ticket
Two Adult Family (2 adults + 3 children)£42.00 per ticket
Two Grandparent Family (2 seniors & 3 children)£40.00 per ticket

Annual membership are also available, please visit their website for more information



  • On-Site cafe/restaurant
  • Picnic Site - Lakeside cafe, or bring a picnic!

Establishment Features

  • Toilets

Specialist Features

  • Marketed Towards Families


Map & Directions


  • Weald & Downland Open Air Museum
  • Sussex Oxen Sol and Saxon in the Market Square


  • Tourism South East Award -Beautiful South Awards Winners 2022/23 - Gold Beautiful South Awards Winners 2022/23 - Gold 2022
  • Tourism South East Award -Tourism South East Member 24/25 - Bronze Tourism South East Member 24/25 - Bronze 2024

Opening Times

* 10.30am – 6pm BST
(27 Mar – 29 Oct 2022)

10.30am – 4pm outside BST

Closed 24,25,28,29,30,31 Dec

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