Sunday, 8 August 2010

Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

The buildings at the Weald & Downland are real historic buildings that have been rescued, taken to pieces and lovingly reconstructed.  It's a wonderful museum, very evocative, with a thirteenth century cottage and a medieval hall.   But it's not all medieval, there are Tudor kitchens where copper bowls are bubbling ready for laundry and gardens growing herbs and vegetables.   One of my favourites is Lurgashall Watermill.   The oldest part is probably 17th century, and it was a working mill until the 1930's.    It still works!   We bought some flour ground there to try out in my bread machine.  As you stand in the mill watching the grindstones turn, the whole mill rattles and clacks.   There were HUNDREDS of ducks outside, hoping for grain.  This picture was taken when  picnickers had lured most of the ducks up to the mill pond...

Here is the inside, this shows some of the workings on the spout floor where the finished grain pours into sacks:

And this one is from the next floor up - the stone floor.  You can see the hopper where the grain goes into the grindstones.  there's a bell which rings when it needs filling, because if the stones were to run dry, there's the risk of sparks which might cause a fire.


Nicola Cornick said...

I've been meaning to visit the Weald and Downland Museum for ages, Carol, and you have made me determined to go. It looks and sounds wonderful! I hope the bread tastes good!

Carol Townend said...

You won't regret it, Nicola, do allow the whole day, there's so much to see!