Weald and Downland Museum Reopens after £6m Refit

The United Kingdom is home to some fun, quirky and unusual museums. One of the most celebrated is  in West Sussex; Weald and Downland Museum is a celebration of our building history. A wide, open and spacious outdoor museum – it displays carefully reconstructed historic buildings. These are not hidden behind ropes with “DON’T TOUCH!” signs. You may go inside and explore their interiors. Some are set out as they would have been in use. In May, the museum opened a new wing thanks to a lottery £4m cash boost.

Titchfield Market Hall at the Weald and Downland Museum

MilborneOne at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Weald and Downland Museum Cash Boost

Proud to receive a £6m cash boost (£4m of which came from lottery players just like you), the facility was able to open the new project on time. Most new facilities centre on the entrance, making a more welcoming and exciting addition to the open air museum. Weald and Downland Museum features rescued and reconstructed vernacular (meaning everyday use) buildings from across the south-east. It is not just about the buildings, however. Weald and Downland also provides a vital education resource to study and understand building tools and methods.

The new facilities at Weald and Downland include:

  • A series of galleries that tell the buildings’ stories in a more engaging manner
  • An important exhibition of the museum’s collection of historical tools that they were not in a position to display previously
  • A new cafe kiosk to cope with increasing visitor numbers
  • A new exhibit of a medieval building from Sole Street in Kent
  • Improvements to signage and trails around the open museum
  • A new learning and community space for educational visitors such as school groups and academic researchers

Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is already at the forefront of historic building research in the south-east. However, this new project will cement its ambitions.

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