Museum History
(3830 Records)

 Yr/Mo   Origin   Summary 
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Ruby anniversary ball raises
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Bell frame donated from Stoughton church / The 11th century church of St Mary, Stoughton, West Sussex, donated to the museum a bell frame. The bell tower, raised over the south transpet in the 14th century, now supports a ring of six bells, following a refurbishment and the installation of a new bell frame to replace the one donated to the museum. The frame has now been re-erected beneath the shingled spire near the plumbers' shop from Newick. The work was supported by the Worshipful Company of Carpenters. Interpretation will be prepared shortly with the help of St Mary's Church and the Society of Bell Change Ringers
2011/3Magazine / Spring 2011Visiting my ancestors
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Roger is Sussex Heritage Person of the Year / The museum'[s former carpenter, Roger Champion, has been named Sussex Heritage person of the Year. He received his award at the Sussex Heritage Trust Awards lunch at Lancing College. Roger repaired and rebuilt most of the timber-framed structures at the museum, and still works part-time for the museum. Most of his work now is joinery, producing furnishings for the museum's historic buildings.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Worth our Salt! / The museum has got together with West Dean Estate and residents in Singleton, East Dean and West Dean, and thanks to a
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Short Story competition reveals talented writers / Talented historical fiction writers from around the south-east were revealed at the climax to the museum's Historical Short Story Competition in August. The competition was designed to encourage all those inspired by the museum's buildings, rural life collections and glorious downland site. Stories were to be set between the years 1200 and 1900 AD. The museum received 135 short stories from all over the south east and beyond. The winner's prize of
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012In Brief / Various visits have been hosted for specialist groups this year, including a number who admire our adult learning programme and are seeking advice on providing similar services in their instituions. These include six Swedish museum professionals, and the director of an Alpine archaeological museum on the Italian/German border. Many other groups have also attended.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Filming Continues / The hire of the museum by film companies continues. In April Pendean Farmhouse was used to film "Restoration Women" presented by Lucy Worsley. The Celebrity Antiques Roadtrip show saw Gregg Wallace enter the museum in his classic green MG during June to meet Lesley Parker, who enthralled him with a lesson on how to make butter by hand.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012War Horse / At the Heavy Horse event this summer the highlight was the spectacular War Horse display, bringing together restored First World War horse-drawn equipment, fine horsemanship and commentary by Andy Robertshaw. It was pronounced as the largest display of First World War horse-drawn vehicles in one place since 1941. On the second day the show was brought to a close by the playing of a moving song, written in Hampshrie, commemorating the ment who fought at the Front.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Interpreting the medieval shop from Horsham / The Interpretation Team have been working on a project to furnish one of the pair of shops from Horsham in the Market Square as a mercer's shop as it might have been about 1500. The shops were built in 15th century as a three-storey, double jettied building with two shop chambers facing onto the street. Their location in Butchers Row (later Middle Street) suggests that they started life as butchers' shops. Characteristic features of late medieval shops were their large windows facing onto the street, with an adjoining narrow door. Customers were not expected to enter the premises as the shops acted as market stalls.
It has been decided that although the shops probably started life as butchers' shops, the shop would be interpreted in the museum as a mercer's shop. Interpreting as a butcher's shop would have caused some awkward presentational issues. It was also felt that a shopkeeper trading in a broader range of items would have a stronger appeal to our visit \\
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Domestic culture in the late medieval house / Bayleaf, a late medieval house from Chiddingstone in Kiont, is the most important building in the museum's collection. It forms part of the museum's only complete farmstead and it was the first exhibit house to be fully furnished. Its earliest occupants were yeoman (the top layer of the medieval peasantry), farming about 100 acres. They held their farm on a long lease from the gentry "manor" (or estate) of Bore Place. Until recently the furnishings of the hall included two tables, intended to reflect the hierarchical nature of the late medieval household in which the householder and his family sat at the "upper" table, whilst the household servants sat at the "lower" table. Those who have visited Bayleaf recently will have discovered that the "lower" table has been removed following a re-assessment of the evidence of how households like this one would have functioned in the late medieval period. Yeomen households functioned differently from the aristocratic ho \\
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Royal visit marks the Queen's Diamond Jubilee / The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited the museum as part of a day in West Sussex in June to mark HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. They visited some of the historic buildings, joined in with crafts in the Building Crafts Gallery and inspected restoration work on the timbers of Tindalls Cottage in the Downland Gridshell, with a short break for lunch in the hall from Crawley.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012The museum on social media / The museum's Facebook and Twitter sites are growing in popularity. Most discussed items on Facebook recently have revolved around wooden pegs, pigs and charcoal! The first picture of the new piglets was posted on the site on 2nd September and more than 500 people looked at the photograph. A picture of Alan Wood making wooden pegs for Tindalls Cottage also proved very popular. On Twitter discussions have centred on subjects as diverse as conservation issues, Tudor hairstyles, new born piglets and family friendly activities.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Raising the Roof / The Raising the Roof 2012 conference took place with the Raising the Frame weekend. The two events also marked the 10th anniversary of the building of the Downland Gridshell, designed by Edward Cullinan Architects with Buro Happold Engineers. The building has won many awards since it opened. It was built to house the museum's building conservation workshop and collection store. To mark the two events the conference considered the timber framing of roofs through the centuries, bringing together more than 130 specialists.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Museum links with the University of York for its MSc programmes / In a new partnership the museum's two well-established MSc programmes in building conservation and historic building techniques are to lead to degrees awarded by the University of York. Until last year the two programmes were validated by Bournemouth University. The University of York is a world top 100 institution with a global reputation for its excellence in research and teaching.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012The conservation of Tindalls Cottage - the carpenter's viewpoint / In 1974, when Tindalls Cottage was dismantled, the surviving oak timbers, stonework, brickwork and roofing tiles were brought to the museum. In 1998 planning permission was granted for its re-erection on a site facing Bayleaf Farmhouse. Roger Champion and I moved some of the timbers into the Gridshell in 2002. Much interpretation was carried out in conjuntion with Richard Harris, the then Director of the Museum. Museum Director, Richard Pailthorpe and I, in 2011, agreed a date of September 2012 for raising the frame on its new site. The remaining timbers were moved to the Gridshell in February 2012. The identifiable wall plates and tie beams were laid out and the principal rafters and side purlins reared. It was now apparent that many of the aluminium markers, attached to the timbers 38 years before, had corroded. When, after a week of working like forensic scientists, I was satisfied that we had got it right, we fixed new labels to all th \\
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Poplar Cottage funishing project complete / The furnishing of the 17th century Poplar Cottage as a shoemaker's home is now complete, with the addition of bedding and fenestrals. The bedding for the two beds and crib were made by the Museum's Needlework Group. The blankets were dyed with tansy, elderberries and madder. Fenestrals are screens which are fixed to the windows, wooden frames covered with treated linen cloth. In making the fenestrals the linen cloth was first shrink-proofed with alum, then stretched over the wooden frames and fixed. Each cloth was treated with a size made of tallow and rosin. The fenestrals also help to keep the building warmer.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012From the Chairman / Readers of the magazine will know that the Trustees have been planning to improve the facilities for visitors. The project has been named the "Gateway Project". The Stage 1 bid has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund and if this is accepted a more detailed proposal will be submitted. There are three sections to the grant bid which reflect the HLF's priorities for conserving the physical heritage: Conservation; Learning; Participation. The project will give us the space to support increased learning and participation and provide the necessary extra income to boost conservation in particular preserve our unique national collection of buildings for future generations; collection that would otherwise be threatened by lack of funds.
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012Raising the Frame / The timber frame of the 18th century Tindalls Cottage was raised in its new location at the museum on September 2012, 38 years after it was rescued from the Bewl Water Reservoir site near Ticehurst, East Sussex. It is now thought to date to 1721 and was the home of a labourer. It was dismantled in 1974 as a result of the imminent construction of the reservoir. The name "Tindalls" derives from the surname of its occupants from 1748 to 1806. After months of painstaking work and research the restoration of the timbers was led by Joe Thompson of Sussex Oak and Iron, the museum's Carpenter-in-Residence and Roger Champion, the museum's retired Master Carpenter, along with David Martin of the Robertsbridge and District Archaeological Society, who recorded the building in situ, assisting. The Raising the Frame weekend provided visitors with the rare opportunity of watching the process of reconstruction as the frame was put together on its new foundations. Over the weekend 1,500 people visited, \\
2012/10Magazine / Autumn 2012From the Director / We have just experienced the wettest summer of the museum's 42-year history, which has undoubtedly affected our visitor numbers. However, we are recording only a small percentage drop in numbers when compared to other museums and visitor attractions. The Rare Breeds Show saw a beautiful sunny day which attracted a record attendance. The traffic difficulties we have now experienced at the Christmas Market and the Rare Breeds Show are unprecedented and we are working with both West Dean Estate and the Police over future traffic management at the major special events.
Our stage 1 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund has been submitted for the Gateway Project, the aim of which is to secure the long-term future of the museum. Tindalls Cottage timber frame raising is at the end of September, and this forms part of this year's 10th anniversary of the opening of the Downland Gridshell. This has included a highly popular Historical Fiction Short Story competition which attracted over 130 entires, \\
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