My programme takes us on field-trips! For the first one we went down south. It was pretty sweet!
For our first stop we went to the set of a Dickens/ Bronte film. I honestly expected Cathy to call out for Heathcliffe somewhere (though that would only happen in the North, not here in the South).
But now back to reality:
We got to go to the best RenFaire set up I’ve ever seen!
Okay, so not really. But this Museum lets you step back and see what a local village would have looked like before big bad modern industry took over and tore all these buildings down for carparks and the like. It’s very experiential and lovely. Even if my hem ended up becomimg six inches deep in mud. Walking to Meryton will do that to a girl.
Weald and Downland Open Air Museum
The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum has over 50 buildings onsite. They range from Saxon constructions to the Victorian Era but mainly focus on timber framing architecture. Each one is a building that has been saved from being torn down and was rebuilt there.
The furniture pieces are replicas (made by their on staff carpenter) so you can sit on the beds and touch stuff. The little village even has a working mill and you can buy their flour in the gift shop.
Various homes are set up as they would have been in the 15th-19th centuries. Little farms with gardens and animals. The sheep were adorable!
My favourite thing about the space was that the buildings were for normal people. There were houses that more than one family lived in or just simple farmers’ cottages.
They even had adult education courses about forging, sewing, milling, thatching and other crafts. They even have two masters programs!
I really enjoyed the tudor kitchen where we could taste test peas pottage and biscuits. The volunteers follow the seasonal trends like those people who would have lived there hundreds of years ago. So, seasonal food and simple ingredients it was. The wood gets chopped for all the fireplaces. It’s amazing to see it all at work.
Pros: Adorable, cool and super nice volunteers. It’s so good that you forget all about technology.
Cons: It’s quite large and could use more seats. They’re doing an upgrade right now so the entry is a bit like a building site.