Friday, 25 May 2012

Day 21 – Weald and Downland Open Air Museum

Today Kylie and myself set off from Uckfield for our 10 day journey which will take us through the Cotswolds to Warwick, then to Devon and Cornwall, then the New Forest and back again to Uckfield.  

Views of part of the Museum
Today we headed to a place called  Weald & Downland Open Air Museum.
What an amazing place. It is full of buildings that have been rescued from the ‘scrapheap’ (mostly from around the Sussex county) and they are ‘reborn’ here.

The first building we came across is an old Toll cottage from Beeding, Sussex.  It has one living room and a bedroom, that is it. Apparently a whole family and a lodger all lived in this tiny place. There was a board out the front which had all the tolls listed. It was quite a detailed list!
From there we made our way around the other buildings that were former shops, market places, church, school, workshop, houses etc. There was even a maypole but we did not go dance around it, tempting as it was!

The Toll Cottage - Beeding - 1807
We made our way around, when we got to the other end when we decided we needed a drink. On the map there was a ‘seasonal’ refreshment shop, when we went there it was not open, but there was a cooking demonstration in the Tudor kitchen next door. It was very dark and stuffy as the open fire was burning, it took a while for our eyes to adjust.  We sat through a cooking display of flat bread. The room was set out and cooking was done as in Tudor times, it was very smoky in there as it was being cooked over an open fire. When the bread was cooked we all got to try a bit but as Kylie and I are gluten intolerant we had to miss out on a sample L. Once the demonstration was over, we walked all the way back to the entrance to get a drink and ended having lunch as well.  We sat near the lake and watched everyone go by, it was so tranquil.

Watermill - Lurgashall - 1600's

After we finished lunch we continued on and looked at the old mill and other buildings.
We ended up spending 6 hours at Weald and Downland walking around. It is well worth the visit and a shame many people don’t know about it.
Stables used as a potting shed
Church - Wonston
Smithy - Southwater - mid 1800s
Plumber's workshop - Newark - late 1800's
Pendean farmhouse - Midhurst - early 1600
Market hall - Titchfield - early 1600's
House - Walderton - mid 1600's
Hall - Boarhunt - mid 1300's
Granary - Littlehampton - early 1700's
Building - Lavant - early 1600's
Bayleaf House - Chiddingstone - early 1400's
Early medieval house -  Hangleton - 1200's
Poplar cottage - Washington - mid 1600's
School - West Wittering 
Whittaker's cottages - Ashtead - 1860's
Wagon Shed - Wiston - 1700's
Treadwheel - Catherington -  late 1600's
When we left we headed off to go to our hotel which is just outside of Swindon. It is an old school house in Hook. .  The room was cheap, but not reflected in the service or room.  It has antique furniture, ensuite, comfy bed, wi-fi etc.  A bargain!
Karen who runs the hotel was very welcoming and we had a bit of a laugh. We mentioned how Kylie didn’t book twin beds and that we will have to share the bed like we did when we were younger.

Once we brought our bags in we went to the restaurant to have some food. At lunch time we thought we wouldn’t want much to eat but it didn’t seem to hit the sides so we ended up ordering the 3 course dinner. The food was lovely. I had pigeon breast for entrée, lamb chops for main and panna cotta for dessert. Kylie had chicory wrapped in bacon, salmon breast with hollandaise, and panna cotta also.

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