Sunday, 16 April 2017

Weald & Downland Living Museum

Happy Easter!!

We celebrated by having a full English breakfast this morning whilst handing round the chocolate eggs and then hopped in the car to go to the Weald & Downland Living Museum in Chichester. It is really beautiful there, luscious green trees and fields stretching out as far as the eye can see. Interspersed between all this greenness (which is Pantone's colour of the year by the way), are the sweetest little medieval and Tudor houses.

I've always wanted to hop in a TARDIS and visit the past and I guess this is the closest we are going to get to time travel. Lots of little historical houses, perfectly preserved with their own vegetable plots and outdoor privys, straw beds and cooking utensils.

They have a variety of different buildings there; houses, shops, market houses, a Victorian school house, a church, workshops, gypsy caravans, a water mill (which doesn't have any water), and lots of other industrial type buildings, all dating over a 950 year history. They have different daily demonstrations too, and some of the houses you wander into have the fires lit.and helpful people telling you about the history of the place.

Several things struck me as we wandered around; the first is how smelly it must have been to live in some of these houses with enormous fires. Even with the lack of glass in the windows of the early houses which must have created a through-draft, smelling of bonfire the entire time must not have been fun. The second is how tiny people used to be! The ceilings are very low and the stairs narrow and twisty- makes you wonder how many twisted ankles happened! Saying that, my size eights clomping around the place are probably twice the size of the feet that used to traipse these stairs.

The museum is absolutely vast with the most beautiful views, did I mention that? I love England in springtime when the trees are starting to burst out. The sun was in and out a lot so my panoramic photo has some lines in but I hope you can appreciate the beauty in it.

I think the above house was my favourite. Maybe because it was the most modern and had kitchen utensils I recognised from our own kitchen, but maybe also because of the volunteer dressed in appropriate costume working on her stitching outside the front door. I could picture myself living there actually, although would probably have had to do something about the outdoor toilet!!

There were lots of wildlife and farm animals around, and other than the excited kids jumping all over the place, it was really quiet with only the sounds of the pheasants cackling at each other and the crows having an argy-bargy in the treetops.

We took advantage of the bags of duck food being sold in the shop and went off to make some friends of the feathered variety. The Brother was throwing his bag of grains at everything that moved (hard to believe he's meant to be an adult now) whether they were interested or not. There were lots of baby birds bopping around on the surface of the pond. Some of those little ducklings looked like they were still learning how to move their feet and were randomly zip zapping all over the pond like they'd been electrocuted.

As well as the buildings to look at, there are some beautiful areas of woodland to wander through and appreciate. Every now and then you stumble across another little building that you didn't realise was there, like a little gingerbread house... no, only kidding.

There were some little Easter related things to spot though, nests full of different themed items- like cute bunnies, eggs, flowers....

So all in all, a very Eastery day! Complete with lambs, baby birds, an Easter nest hunt, sunshine and spring greenery. I hope you all had a similarly themed day!

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