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Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

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Okay, this is a sign from a toll house in the 19th century, but notice that it has the "tall S" and the "uncial S" both. When there's a double S it has one of each. (Just a quick paleography review here.)


Maggie with the house from Walderton to the left behind her. This is the only shot of the exterior that either Ox or I got.


A hearth chair in the Walderton House. The house is from the 1600s.


Notice the iron arm that swings out over the fire. And the decorative stone at the back that reflects heat back into the room.


I banged my head so many times today, it's just not funny. Notice how low the roof is?


More wattle fences. Don't they look great?


This is Bayleaf Farmstead. It was built in the 15th or early 16th century.


The Hall of Bayleaf Farmstead, complete with tables and a central hearth in the middle of the floor. Another reason that you can only sit on one side of the table.


These are the kind of photos that Ox takes a lot of. Kind of the Mouse-eye view of things. (Ox says it's called the Laurel's eye view.)


Gorgeous little bench in the hall.


These two doors on the ground floor are the "service" area. One is the buttery and one is the milkhouse. The milkhouse is for milk processing to make butter and cheese, also for bread-making and salting meat for winter.



This is the buttery. It's used to store barrels of ale and beer, for hanging meat and other raw foods. (There are some bee skeps under the shelf. ) Maggie & Ox are guessing that the two rooms are needed to separate the milk products from the ale to prevent the lactate bacteria from contaminating the brewing.


A spinning wheel in the downstairs room on the "solar" end of the house. (That is the opposite end from the service.) In later houses this room is called the "parlor."


Although they have a cradle and bed in this room, it might have been used for work as well as sleeping.


This is the solar. (That's the upstairs room above the parlor.) Isn't this a great shut-bed? The curtains are handwoven and the furniture was made with period tools.


This is a garderobe in a closet of the solar. It empties into a cess pit beside the house. That's sunlight you see coming in, so it was probably pretty breezy.)


Beautiful, beautiful Shire Horses.


One of the Shire Horses in harness earning his keep.


A bull that looks nothing like a medieval ox. Since medieval breeds are gone, they chose breeds of animals that are descendents of breeds from the Weald & Downland area.


This is the interior of an early 16th century kitchen. It was a separate building from the rest of the house because of the fire hazard. (And really, they are doing things in the kitchen that you don't want to know about.)


Meats hanging over the smoky cook fire to cure.


This picture shows accurately how smoky it was. There is no chimney, only a hole in the side of the house up near the end of the room. They were cooking wine soaked prunes in the little kettle.


This is their bread oven. (They had done their baking earlier in the morning.) A fire is built in the top oven. Then when it is hot, they rake the ashes out and put them in the hole underneath the oven. In goes the bread and they shut it up with the water soaked wood door. Bits of left over dough are used to seal the door tight.



This is a very large copper basin for hot water that sits next to the oven. Hot ashes or a fire are put in the firebox underneath it and the wooden lid is put in place to keep it hot.


Fires for the kitchen, particularly the oven, need small wood, (faggots).


This handsome fellow came over and posed for me.


Sigh, this just shows why I want to try washing the sheep before shearing.


A view of the fields between some of the farm houses. There is a horse plow and board? rake?


The hay was already cut and was standing drying in the field in ricks.


The Hall from Boarhunt was built in the early 15th century. Notice the thatched roof?