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Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

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The interior of a reconstructed 13th century cottage. It was very small, but had a large oven in it. The walls are made of flint rocks mortared together.


This is a sequence for making charcoal. Charcoal gives off twice as much heat as the same weight of wood.
Stack the "flue" wood in a triangle.


Cords of wood are leaned against the flue all the way around.


Then cord wood is stacked on top, but not covering the top of the flue.


Then the wood is thatched with whatever herbage is nearby, and covered with dirt. (The grass thatch is there only to prevent the dirt from getting into the wood.) Holes are poked in it for air, and fire is dropped down into the flue. The flue is plugged up and the kiln is left to burn for several days.


The waddle fences, the waddle walls in the houses, the faggots for the kitchen fires are all grown from coppiced trees. The top of the tree is cut off and shoots are allowed to grow around the ring. A tree will produce more useable wood this way than just letting it grow naturally.


The farms were just smothered in flowers. So lovely to see flowers blooming in July!


This is grain before it's ground at the water mill.


This is the stone ground flour that's made from the grain.


This is a 17th century watermill. It was running when we went by.

My medieval joke: What is the bravest thing in the world?


An old millstone that they have displayed.

The Answer: A miller's shirt, because it grasps a thief by the neck every day of its life.


This is a medieval shop from Horsham. It was built in the 15th century and has a pair of shops side by side. You can really see how a merchant would set up and sell from the big windows.


Ox is standing beside t he Market Hall from Titchfield dates from 1620 and has an open air space on the bottom floor for merchants to set up booths. The upper room was used as a town council chamber.


This is the upstairs room. The zigzagged pattern of brick are really very decorative.


The bottom floor of the Market Hall. (The overhanging floors that jut out farther than the room below them give the owner of the building more space, but the weight hanging over the edge also helps reduce the weight load in the center of the floor. So they could have more unsupported floorspace than in a traditional box shaped building.)


One last bit of purple.