The Weald and Downland Museums 50th Birthday celebrations, Photograph by Sam Stephenson,
The Weald and Downland Museums 50th Birthday celebrations, Photograph by Sam Stephenson,

Weald & Downland Living Museum announces its Historic Building and Traditional Skills Learning Opportunities

The acclaimed Weald & Downland Living Museum has expanded its comprehensive 2024 learning program with an array of new courses, in addition to the return of favoured courses from past years.

Deborah Hodson, Head of Learning at the Museum, said: “Maille making, bath stone carving and making copper ladles and copper cups are just some of the traditional skills courses we have introduced to our 2024 courses list. The growing interest in working with flax has also seen us re-introduce a course that demonstrates how our ancestors processed the flax plant into linen fabric. We are also bringing back popular courses such as traditional Sussex trug making, hurdle making and coracle making.”

Many of the courses hosted at the Museum are classed as endangered heritage crafts, meaning there are concerns about their ongoing viability. The Museum is passionate about ensuring these craft skills are kept alive and passed onto future generations. 

The learning programme at the Weald & Downland Living Museum ranges from one-day introductory experiences to more extensive courses that cover a wide variety of historical skills and trades – from caring for heavy horses, bronze sword making and falconry to weaving, spinning and printmaking. For those looking to gain a formal qualification, the Museum also runs two MSc programmes in Timber Building Conservation and Building Conservation.

“Lifelong learning and the promotion of endangered crafts and trades is a key element of the Museum’s work to ensure they survive into the future. We are always amazed at the range of people who choose to come and learn with us, from skilled tradespeople looking to expand their knowledge in traditional building and conservation to those wanting to discover more about rural life in the past or acquire a new hobby.  All are welcome,” said Deborah.

All the fascinating courses on offer make use of the Museum’s historic exhibit buildings and collection of artefacts as well as its inspiring landscape and regionality, giving course participants access to a unique learning environment. 

“Our courses start from £45 per person and are taught by expert practitioners, who are enthusiastic about their craft and always generous in sharing their knowledge and skills. Whether you are looking for a new hobby or to learn a new skill, we have something for you.” 

To find out more about the Weald & Downland Living Museum 2024 courses visit 

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