On Wednesday 24th May our second “Architectural Visit” took us to the Weald & Downland Living Museum at Singleton, West Sussex.
The museum showcases more than 50 buildings (of architectural and historical interest) from across Britain, spanning over 600 years, which have been saved from demolition, carefully dismantled and then painstakingly reconstructed in this beautiful rural setting.
What was immediately apparent was how different life must have been all those years ago; the simple, yet sound, methods of timber construction, the overpowering smell of smoke from indoor fires for heating and cooking and the extremely low doors & ceilings.
The exterior of the buildings from the 15th and early 16th centuries are breathtakingly detailed with oak framing and angular herringbone brickwork. In those days, the more timbering and the more “jettied” (cantilevered) upper levels you had, represented how wealthy you were. Some of the jettied areas were used to house the “toilet” – meaning just a hole in the floor, emptying onto the street below!
There were many examples of construction methods throughout the ages, many of which have evolved into the methods we still use today. There were some great examples of; thatched roofing, flint walls, pebble walls, brickwork, timber framing, oak roof trusses, wattle & daub, pegged tiles and many more.