I recently visited the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, located in West Sussex in the UK. Founded in 1967, this independent museum was established to preserve hundreds of years of history of rural and village life.
Many historic buildings from the region have been relocated to the Museum. Two of these are included in this series of images.
The Toll House was moved from Beeding in Sussex. It was originally built in the early 1800’s to control entry to a new turnpike, and tolls were collected for all vehicular and animal traffic. For example, “For every Horse, Mule, Afs. or other Beast laden or unladen and not drawing, the Sum of Two-pence”. Toll roads are not a new thing.
Whittaker’s Cottage #1 was built in Asthead Surrey in the 1860’s. It is furnished with the Museum’s collections as it may have been in the late 19th Century, when the house was occupied by the Filkins family, which included 8 children. Each floor of the 2-storey cottage has two rooms – one heated, and the other not. I wonder how the heated bedrooms were allocated?
Stay tuned for a post on the people of the Weald & Downland.
Whenever possible, a trip to London should include a visit to the British Museum, located in the Bloomsbury area.
The Museum is a good place to go to watch people, as well as a place of historical significance. Like most large museums, you need to have a plan and a specific objective to make the visit worthwhile.
Our quest was to view the treasures from Sutton Hoo. We had just been to the Sutton Hoo archaeological site in Suffolk. The site contains several 7th Century burial mounds which were just recently (historically speaking) excavated in the 20th Century. Now a National Trust site, there are not many original artefacts that are on display at Sutton Hoo – you have to visit the British Museum to see the real things.
Like many of the other national museums in the UK, admission to the British Museum is free (donations are gratefully appreciated). The museum relies on a lot of private and corporate donations to keep it operating. You can view the names of some of the most significant donors on the wall of the circular Reading Room in the middle of the courtyard.
The Great Court (the centre of the museum) is covered with a glass roof, creating the largest covered square in Europe.
As many of the artefacts at the British Museum were collected during the heydays of the British Empire, the Museum is not without its controversies. There are several items in the collections that have been claimed by other countries, requesting their return to their place of origin. The Sutton Hoo treasures were locally sourced, so these should remain in the UK.
We did sight two carved totem poles from the Canadian west coast on display in the courtyard. Are they just on loan?
One final technical point for other photographers. I found that the AWB setting on my camera did not adapt well to the covered courtyard. All of my images had a significant green tint. Thank goodness for the white balance adjustment brush in Lightroom!
On a recent visit to Paris I found myself at the entrance to the Père Lachaise Cemetery. This is one of the largest cemeteries in the City of Paris and it is a popular tourist destination.
One of the site’s primary attractions is the large number of grave sites of famous musicians from the past 200 years or more. One of the more contemporary sites is the grave of Jim Morrison. I was a Doors fan in the 1960’s and I wanted to acknowledge “The Lizard King.”
I had heard that Jim Morrison’s grave site was difficult to find, but that was not the case. There was a tour group at the site when I was there, and there was a metal barricade that had been installed to prevent visitors from getting too close. Apparently, there was originally no marker on the grave, until the existing gravestone was placed there by Jim’s father in the 1990’s.
I also visited the grave site of Edith Piaf, a famous French chanteuse. Her family’s grave site was also a popular attraction – another generation, a different fan base.
I have been travelling in Europe for the past month, and as a result I have collected some new images to add to my portfolio.
In order to ease back into posting on my blog, I decided to start with a familiar theme – some new images to add to my “wallpaper” album, which is included on my flickr site. I am always on the lookout for walls and facades where I can minimize the perspective and create a two-dimensional image.