The Museum’s traditionally decorated houses will reflect the spirit of Christmas throughout the ages with a special focus on the Tudor era from Boxing Day to 28 December. The hall of the 15th century Bayleaf farmhouse will be dressed with evergreens and boast a table laid for a yeoman farmer’s Christmas.

In Winkhurst Tudor kitchen, cooks will demonstrate a variety of seasonal food and drink, including Christmas mincemeat pies and enriched bread. Tasters will be on offer (subject to availability). Period music, historical demonstrations, plus crackling open log fires will bring history to life, so that visitors can discover how our rural ancestors celebrated Christmas from Medieval to Edwardian times.

Pendean farmhouse, built in 1609, will be dressed to reflect Christmas in early Stuart England with a warming yule log, traditional greenery decorations and indoor games. In Poplar Cottage visitors can learn about the time when the Puritans cancelled Christmas during Cromwell’s Commonwealth.

“Christmas is a wonderful time to visit the Museum and view the houses, which have been decorated to reflect how this special time of year has been celebrated by our ancestors over the centuries. The Museum’s downland setting has a magical atmosphere of its own at Christmas,” said Richard Pailthorpe, Director of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum.

The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum at Singleton near Chichester was recently awarded a £4million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund, towards its Gateway Project.

The Gateway Project will transform the way in which visitors experience the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum from the moment that they enter the site. A new ‘Gateway’ to the Museum, which is located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, will be built around the Museum’s millpond, providing facilities to meet the needs and expectations of its audiences. New orientation and interpretation galleries will transform visitors’ understanding of the site, the Museum’s collections and the landscape from which its historic buildings originated. Alongside the Gateway’s new ticketing, retail and catering facilities, a highly flexible annexe will be created for use as a classroom and venue for community events and functions.

Building work will commence during 2015 and it is hoped that the new buildings will be available for the Museum’s visitors to enjoy and experience at the beginning of the 2017 season.

The Museum is home to 50 historic buildings, which have been rescued from destruction, moved and carefully reconstructed on the site.

The Museum is open daily during the festive season from Boxing Day until 1 January 2015. Information on opening hours and admission prices is available at

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