Weald & Downland Living Museum

Chichester

Type:Museum

Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0EU

Tel: 01243 811363

Weald & Downland Living Museum

About

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

Facilities

Catering

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

Establishment Features

  • Toilets

Specialist Features

  • Marketed Towards Families

TripAdvisor

Map & Directions

Video

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

Awards

  • Tourism South East Award -Tourism South East Member - Bronze Tourism South East Member - Bronze 2022

Opening Times

Open daily (1 Jan 2022 - 27 Dec 2022)
Monday - SundayOpen
Bank HolidayOpen

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

10.30am – 4pm outside BST

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

What's Nearby

  1. West Dean Gardens

    Creatively inspired by its rich heritage and South Downs setting, West Dean Gardens is…

    0.63 miles away
  2. West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

    West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is an internationally recognised centre of…

    0.86 miles away
  3. Chichester Tour Guides

    Discover the historic city of Chichester and surrounding villages, towns and countryside…

    2.24 miles away
  1. Chichester Festival Theatre

    Situated between the South Downs and the sea, Chichester Festival Theatre is one of the…

    4.5 miles away
  2. Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

    A chance to see and hear the stories of heroes, in the air and on the ground, from World…

    4.49 miles away
  3. Aldingbourne Country Centre

    The Aldingbourne Country Centre is a ‘Great day out’ in West Sussex.

    Visit their open…

    4.84 miles away
  4. Chichester Cathedral

    In the heart of Chichester, a magnificent Cathedral with treasures ranging from medieval…

    4.97 miles away
  5. Bishop's Palace Gardens

    Bishop's Palace Gardens is situated within the City Walls, next to the Cathedral. And it…

    5.01 miles away
  6. South Downs National Park


    The South Downs, now a newly designated National Park are easily accessible from…

    5.2 miles away
  7. Fishbourne Roman Palace

    Remains of the largest Roman domestic residence in Britain. Beautiful mosaics, museum,…

    5.39 miles away
  8. Dunreyth Alpacas

    Peta and Bruce live in an idyllic setting . They are located 7 miles north of Chichester…

    5.47 miles away
  9. South Downs Planetarium

    There are more than 4000 stars and other celestial objects in the skies of the South…

    5.6 miles away
  10. Cowdray Golf Club

    Golf has been played on our beautiful course for well over a century. Membership is at…

    6.25 miles away
  11. Bignor Park

    Bignor Park is a private estate located in beautiful unspoilt surroundings at the foot of…

    6.59 miles away
  12. Bignor Roman Villa

    Bignor Roman Villa is the stunning remains of a Roman home with world-class mosaic floors…

    7.01 miles away
Previous Next