If you love history and architecture do make sure you visit the Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex.
This excellent museum showcases rural buildings over the centuries and is open throughout the year. They also have special day and weekend events.
You can discover rescued rural homes and buildings set in a beautiful landscape in the South Downs National Park. Their collection tells the stories of the people who lived and worked in rural South East England for over 1,000 years.
Enjoy their family-friendly and dog-friendly 40-acre site and visit their collection of historic buildings – they have more than 50 to explore from a replica Anglo-Saxon hall house to an Edwardian tin church.
The Museum is located on Town Lane in Singleton, which is 7 miles north of Chichester.
By car: The journey to the museum takes about 45 minutes from Steyning. Take the A283, B2139, A29, A27 and Kennel Hill to Open Air Theatre Rd. The postcode is PO18 0EU.
Follow the brown tourist attraction signs marked ‘Open Air Museum’. There is a free car park and disabled parking spaces are available opposite the Museum shop.
The setting is lovely: You look up to the slope of the South Downs on the east side. The River Arun and the wild brooks are on the on the south and west sides.
The village has its own castle – in use as a hotel and wedding venue. Even if you are not staying at the hotel you can walk around the back of the building on your way into the wild brooks.
The Wild Brooks
Whilst you are in the area do visit the Pulborough Brooks. This is an Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) site – open throughout the year and a haven for birds. This area often floods in the winter.
Amberley Working Museum
Another place to see is the Working Museum. This is an interesting use of an old chalk pit above the railway station which is now home to old agricultural and industrial machinery, nearly all of it still functioning.
Many of the houses round here are truly beautiful, with thatched roofs and plenty of lovely old brick and tile work. You can see a couple in my photo below.
The Normans certainly left their mark at St Cuthman’s and St Andrew’s church in Steyning
The church has 12th century craftsmanship that is especially fine, even in a county where much good Norman work has survived. Begun around 1080, the original church was cruciform, and nearly twice the size of the present building. It had transepts and a much longer chancel than the present 19th century one, as well as two extra bays at the west end of the nave, where the 16th century flint chequer work tower is now.
With its high roof, crossing tower and clerestory, it must have been an awesome building indeed. The earliest part that remains is that which now forms the chancel arch, immensely high and with decoratively carved capitals.
The surviving bays of the nave arcade, built around 1170/80, have exuberant carving on most of the arches and capitals, each one different, with no shortage of the customary zigzags and scallops as well as many less conventional motifs and designs that repay a really close look
Walk to end of Church Street and you will see the church on your left. Read more here