Directory › Weald and Downland Living Museum

Weald and Downland Living Museum

  • Weald and Downland


30 Jul 2018

Discover our new family activity hub in Hambrook barn, where you can dress as a Victorian (and other eras), explore the gypsy caravan and play traditional games! You can also pick up an explorer backpack to borrow for your visit (available on a first come first served basis) during the holidays.

Soon we'll be adding a photo backdrop and a big floor jigsaw puzzle! It's a great space, with activities for all different ages to enjoy playing together. Or simply take a rest stop on the seats inside. Outside you can explore the woodland playground and find Knucker the water dragon!

Hambrook barn is one of the two family activity hubs opening at the Museum this year. The focus is play based on the Museum (for younger visitors) but also activities for families to enjoy together, with items that can be played with outside of the barn too. The second family hub, in the medieval house from Sole Street, will be opened in the autumn.

This is an element of the Museum's Heritage Lottery Fund supported Gateway Project, which saw the construction of our new visitor centre and café, the dismantling and re-erection of the medieval house from Sole Street, the removal and future re-erection of Pallingham Quay wagon shed, and the transformation of Longport Farmhouse's ground floor into a gallery space named the Michael Burton Gallery.

  • Weald and Downland


15 May 2018

May 15, 2018

Chairman to Retire After 10-Year Tenure and New Chairman Appointed to Board of Trustees

Paul Rigg, Chairman of Trustees of the Weald & Downland Living Museum, retired after ten years in post at a Board meeting on Monday 14 May 2018. Paul had been Chairman of Trustees since April 2008 and has now been elected a Vice-President of the Museum.

During his tenure as Chairman, Paul led the Museum's transformation through the addition of a new visitor centre, introductory galleries, café and community space opened in May 2017. Ten years in the planning and delivery, this new complex has transformed the Museum's visitor experience thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Museum's own robust fundraising campaign.

Commenting on his retirement, Paul says:

"It has been an exciting time and an honour for me to be involved with the Museum. The Museum provides so much pleasure to so many people through its education programme, events and important conservation of our heritage. I am confident that under the stewardship of my successor it will go on to greater things."

New Chairman of the Trustees Appointed

Jo Pasricha was appointed Chairman of Trustees of the Weald & Downland Living Museum at a Board meeting on Monday 14 May 2018. Jo Pasricha is a Business Development Consultant with a portfolio of private and corporate clients.

Jo has worked in a wide range of areas of marketing, sales and business development in Europe, Hong Kong and the USA. During her career Jo was a Partner with Ernst & Young and a Commercial Vice Consul with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Jo grew up in East Sussex and has lived in West Sussex for the past 10 years with her husband Nick and their teenage son. With a very keen interest in history Jo is currently studying for a Masters in British Cultural History at the University of Chichester. Jo and her family have been visiting The Weald and Downland Living Museum regularly for years; Jo joined the Museum as a volunteer and later became a Trustee, joining the Board last year.

Commenting on her appointment as Chair of the Board of Trustees, Jo says:

"In an increasingly uncertain and fast paced world, my family and I love visiting the Weald & Downland Living Museum to have fun, learn a bit about history or just relax in the beautiful surroundings with a picnic and our dog. I am honoured to be leading the Board as we continue Paul's excellent work to take the Museum in to the future."

  • Weald and Downland


23 May 2017

May 22, 2017

Following a £6 million investment, our new visitor centre was opened on Thursday 18 May by Hugh Bonneville; local Sussex resident and avid supporter of the Museum. The complex has been made a reality thanks to a £4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, plus £2 million in private donations (from individuals and charitable trusts) gathered through the Museum's robust 'Gateway Project' fundraising campaign.

Over two hundred guests attended an evening of celebration that culminated in the opening ceremony. Our oxen, Sol and Saxon, paraded the Market Square that bustled with Tudor folk, 15th century tradesmen and a host of volunteers showcased ancient crafts such as basket weaving and carving. The traditional sounds of the lute and hurdy-gurdy brought the scenes to life as well as dancing by local teams of dancers, musicians and storytellers. Guests toured new visitor centre buildings, designed to transform the visitor experience with a newly configured car park, visitor centre, shop, waterside café (opening June 2017) and community space.

Following 10 years of planning, designing and building, these new areas are now open for the public to enjoy and give a fascinating insight into the Museum's collection. Visitors will walk through hands-on and interactive displays explaining the Museum's origins, region, purpose and collection, plus the South Downs National Park, before entering the glorious outdoor collection at the recreated Market Square.


BBC South East and ITV Meridian film crews came to the Museum and filmed throughout the day. ITV Meridian interviewed Hugh Bonneville about why the Museum is his favourite place:

  • Weald and Downland

March News from the Weald & Downland Museum

17 Mar 2016

Welcome to our March newsletter! This month sees the start of building work on our exciting new Gateway Project - Pilbeam Construction has moved onto the Museum site and the ground was broken on Monday 7th.

Thank you to our visitors for bearing with us during the building work, which is taking place next to the entrance and millpond. It is our aim to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum, so that you can continue to enjoy the Museum this year. Our live webcam is now broadcasting daytime footage of the build - do take a look to stay up-to-date with our progress. We plan to open the new buildings next spring and will bring you regular updates.

In the meantime, please read on to learn what's happening at the Museum, beginning with our traditional Easter celebrations!
Easter at the Museum
25, 27 & 28 March

Step back in time and see the traditional Easter celebrations of ordinary folk. Activities vary daily - please see our event pages for details:
Good Friday
Easter Sunday
Easter Monday
Children's birthday parties

Did you know what we offer children's parties? Children aged 5+ can enjoy a brilliant birthday treat in our happy atmosphere with a choice of fun activities.

Find out more
Evening talks programme
April - August

Our evening talks series features a wide range of topics, including the life of a chalkstream and the maritime trade of Elizabethan Chichester.

Find out more


See all of our blogs here.
Dementia-friendly sessions
14 April - 24 May

As part of the Chichester 'Living Well with Dementia Festival', we are offering a series of six short sessions with afternoon tea. See our what's on pages for details.

Keep reading

Exciting outings & evenings!

Take a trip organised by usor visit the Museum after hours:

Join our History Gang!

This exciting creative group for 8 to 12 year-olds meets at the Museum for half a day one Saturday a month, for lots of hands-on activities. Full details of the group and how to join can be found on our website.

Be a part of our Gateway Project

Why not support our Gateway Project by buying and signing a chestnut roofing shingle? They are on sale in our shop at £5 each or three for £10. Buy yours and be a part of our exciting new project. Find out more about the benefits that the Gateway Project will offer to visitors here.

Love the Museum? Become a member!

Annual membership pays for itself in just three visits to the Museum, so if you're a frequent visitor you can make a great savings.

Individual adult prices start from just £34 - find out more on our website.

Can you help us track down this book?

Our Library team is on the hunt for an out of print title called Appraisal and Repair of Timber Structures by Peter Ross. If you are in possession of a copy and would consider donating it to the Museum, please contact the Library team on 01243 811363. Please note that we are only seeking this one particular title at this time.

Cyrano! Exciting new workshops for schools

This June we are holding specially adapted school performances of Cyrano, with accompanying workshops, suitable for pupils in years 5-8. The cost is £6.50 per student for the day. For further information or to book contact 01243 811459 or click here to email us.