Museum History
(3830 Records)

 Yr/Mo   Origin   Summary 
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Discover works of art and use - 4 - 10 March / The growing collection of rural trades and crafts artefacts is open daily for guided tourse at 1.30 p.m. but from 4th to 10th March it was open all day with guides on hand to bring it to life. Currently there are approximately 15,000 items and the collection has been awarded designated status by the government in recognition of its national importance (along with the historic buildings).
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013School pupils have a go at thatching! / From 18th March to 26th April pupils can watch the thatcher at work, hear talks, see an exhibition, print a trail at school to do on-site and have a go at thatching on a model roof. Similar opportunities will be available when the house from Walderton is re-thatched.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Teacher preview days 9th March and 30th April / Teachers are invited for a free visit to explore the museum and see what we can offer schools. They can chat to the Schools Services team members in the Building Crafts Gallery where refreshments will be provided.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Learning in a different light / We continue to try to show not only the links with history but the relationship between many subjects. The formal schools sessions closely reflect the demands of the National Curriculum but as changes to this are made we look forward to working with teachers and developing our programme. Young learners may get wet or cold, an go away with more questions than answers, but may have their interest sparked by a space, interaction or idea in a way we may never know.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Preparing for the 2013 harvest / Despite wet conditions it has been possible to sow the triticale wheat seed for this year's crop of thatching straw. A crop of barley for winter feed and bedding will also be sown again, and the remaining acres put down to grass for haymaking. Pigs and sheep were were housed around the museum. The horses play an important part in maintaining the site and carrying out various farm tasks. Museum-grown hops were used by Ballards Brewery at Rogate to brew the "Harvest Ale". This year a hop garden will be introduced at Tindalls Cottage, which was originally associated with the growing of hops.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Exhibit conservation / External weatherboarding of Watersfield Stable has been replaced with new elm. The Contractor's van located in the Woodyard was recently given new exterior cladding and a new canvas roof and is now weathertight, and attention is being given to the interior paintwork and fittings. The Shepherds Hut adjacent to the sheep fold is in need of anew coat of external paint - the last major repairs were carried out in 2003.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Discover more about the museum's work by becoming a volunteer / The museum couldn't function without the help of its team of dedicated volunteers - and each year they are offered a wide range of training courses to help them interpret the historic buildings and rural life artefacts for visitors. If you would like to become a volunteer, please call Charlie Thwaites on 01243 811933.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013A successful year - despite the weather / The museum's visitor admissions for 2012 were just over 127,500, 8% lower compared with 2011, but almost identical to 2010. The wet weather, the Jubilee and the Olympics all had a negative effect. On the Sunday of the Christmas Market we had the record attendance of 8,000 visitors.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013How the gift shop helps the Museum's work / The museum shop (and its online counterpart) is an important element in the museum's income. It is run by the museum's trading company, Singleton Museum Services, with profits from visitors' purches and other trading activities being used to help the work of the museum. The shop had a partial refit in January enabling the shop to stock a greater range of stock and to allow visitors to enter the museum more quickly. Next time you visit the museum have a good look round the shop. If you are a Friend you will get 10% discount.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Interpreting the house from Walderton / The house from Walderton is currently undergoing a gentle re-interpretation, which will see it presented as a victualling house as it might have been around 1680. The re-interpretation is already well underway; the beds in the upper chamber now have almost complete bedding. The sage-green blanket on one of the beds was dyed with "old nettles" picked in late summer, and edged with a primrose-yellow wool thread dyed with sprintime nettles. Roger Champion will be making two new storage chests. Downstairs Roger has made a hanging cupboard and hanging shelves, a new bench, a settle chair and a number of coppered tankards. A range of smaller tiems, including earthenware tankards, some pewter way, clay pipes, iron fire furniture and storage baskets will be added in the next few months. The western half will remain unchanged. If this had been a victualling house, customers are likely to have been catered for in this half too, with additional sleeping accommodation provided \\
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013From the chairman / The museum's trustees have recently approved a new Forward Plan, taking the planning up to 2016. The new "Gateway Project" was explained in previous magazines. The following medium-term vision has been added: "A centre of excellence for the enjoyment, learning and understanding of the built environment, landscape, rural life and communities of south East England and the south Downs". With Tindall's Cottage, the intention is to resite farm buildings and acquire others in order to present three centuries of farming. We also wish to build on our relationship with the University of York to grow on the museum's position as a leader in the study and practice of building conservation. The plan also includes ideas for the enhancement of visitor facilities pending the more radical improvements that the Gateway Project capital investment would bring.
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Clothing the rural poor in 17th century Sussex and the Poplar Cottage project / The primary purpose of this project is to produce a male and a female outfit appropriate to be worn or displayed in Poplar Cottage, which has been re-intepreted as a shoemaker's cottage as it might have been around 1630. The clothing choices of the rural poor were constrained by two factors: practicalities and income. It had to be made of robust material to withstand wear and tear. The most frequent clothing in testamentary bequests is russet, a coarse but relatively light cloth. Other types of coarse woolen cloth recorded includes blanket, thickset, kersey, frieze, serve and so-called "cotton". Linsey-woolsey, a mixture of flax and wool, and fustian, a flax and cotton mix, were used for a variety of outerwear. Men's working clothes were often made of canvas or leather and sometimes cloth breeches had detachable leather linings. Coarse linen cloth like canvas, linsey and lockram was used for head and neckwear, smocks, shirts a \\
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013New focus on the museum's woodlands / Much of the museum site is covered by woodland, including coppice, clumps, shaws, and standard trees. We now plan a programme of talks, interpretation, demonstrations and guided walks to involve visitors in our approach to the woodland and its activities and products. The woodland management plan has five specific aims: To demonstrate the use of traditional tools and techniques; to provide for the needs of the site; to demonstrate how such woodland management affects the landscape; to use woodland for habitat and ecological education; and to provide enjoyment for visitors and demonstrate sustainable management.
A group of volunteers is being trained by Jon Roberts to help interpret and manage woodland tasks and volunteer involvement will be increased in other ways, such as creating guided walks. Demonstrations and activities relating to woodland products such as fencing, besom broom making and spar making will show visitors the wide variety of benefits the woodland r \\
2013/3Magazine / Spring 2013Maintaining our buildings and site / This year Hambrook Barn will be rethatched by Chris Tomkins in March/April at a cost of
2014/10Magazine / Autumn 2014Glorious weather for Rare Breeds Show. / Rare Breeds Show took place on one of the hottest days of the year. Eagerly looked forward to by smallholders in the South. Celebrating the diversity of farm livestock including several hundred cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and poultry. The fleece and handspun classes are an important element & importantly the next generation of exhibitors and stockmen are encouraged to take part. Local crafts with countryside themes and locally produced food are on trade stands. Nick Page receved the prize for his winning Southdown ewe from Geraldine James who narrated the commentary for BBC Tudor Monastery Farm which was fillmed at the museum. Next year's date is 19th July.
2014/10Magazine / Autumn 2014Museum's award-winning course programme for 2014-15 / 2014 has been another busy year for the adult learning department with many courses oversubscribed. Our programme for 2015 includes repeats of popular existing courses and some exciting new ones. The price of some courses have had to rise due to the cost of tutor travel and materials. The University of York validated MSc in Building Conservation and Timber Building Conservation and these recruited well. With many new courses there was a huge choice this year and many will be repeated in next year's programme. Evening talks were also well attended.
2014/10Magazine / Autumn 2014Woodland and charcoal camp interpretation / During WWI week, demonstrators worked in the Woodyard, the coldwaltham shed, the Charcoal Camp and the coppice. A large number of visitors were attracted, awakening real interest and enthusiasm. Some of these demonstrations were repeated during the last weekend of august, focusing on the early 20th century Charcoal Camp, interpreting it with suitable clothing and props. Next august we will extend this to five days to include bank holiday Monday. Visitors were able to see coppice work, the donkeys hauling logs from the woodland to Bayleaf farmyard and even take part in two-man cross sawing to help create logs for the charcoal burn.
2014/10Magazine / Autumn 2014A good year for harvesting and brewing / on 6th and 7th September we held a Harvesting and Brewing weekend. This has been a year of bountiful harvest with plenty of hedgerow fruit as well as good crops in the historic gardens. There were demonstrations of preparing and preserving the garden and wild produce which will be used not only for food but also medicinal purposes. The first of the hops which were replanted in Tindalls Cottage garden were harvested and this was an ideal opportunity to try some brewing in the Tindalls brewhouse. Ale was also brewed in Winkhurst Tudor Kitchen giving visitors the chance to sample beer and ale as well as cider, all produced here on site. The Tindalls hops have gone to Ballards Brewery for their special "On the Hop" beer.
2014/10Magazine / Autumn 2014Completing Bayleaf's re-interpretations / The creation of the new wall hanging for Bayleaf Farmhouse gave us the opportunity to complete the updated interpretation of this building. The interpretation panels, which had lived in the upper service chamber since 1989 were removed and the room was refurnished as a second bedchamber and store room. The interpretation panels are to be re-instated in Winkhurst Hall at the beginning of 2015. Roger champion has created some beautiful replica furniture for the service chamber and bedlinen and other smaller items will be added.
2014/10Magazine / Autumn 2014Extra busy during school holidays / Interactive interpretation has been increased during the Easter and summer school holidays. Visitors have been able to help with laundry, bricklaying and blacksmithing, saw up logs, play traditional games indoors and outdoors. Many of the demonstrations have been provided by volunteer stewards and we hope to expand this further next year.
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