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Visitors learn about Christmas traditions throughout the ages

A TRADITIONAL Christmas became a reality for visitors to the Weald and Downland Living Museum on Boxing Day and yesterday.


From Tudor to Victorian times, a historic festive treat awaited visitors to the Singleton museum.


Traditionally decorated houses reflected the spirit of Christmas through the ages. The historic homes were decorated to reflect how this special time of year has been celebrated over the centuries.


Michelle Cox and her sister, Lucy Plant, had been to see their family in Bracklesham for Christmas.


Lucy had seen the event and decided to take her children, Natalie, aged seven, and Michael, aged five, to the museum.


She said: “I told Michelle about it last month and we thought it would be great for the kids. We’ve left the rest of the family at home to relax but we wanted to get the kids outside.


“It’s a bit more fun for them then just a walk, and it’s educational, too. We originally come from Lancashire, so we’ve never been here before. Our parents moved this way about four years ago to retire by the sea!”


Her sister, Michelle, added: “It is really pretty here with the Christmas decorations and all the different homes have been decorated in their own unique way.”


Attendees enjoyed a warm welcome in the medieval House from North Cray, with its log fire and traditional greenery decorations. This building is a classic medieval hall-house of four bays, with a central open hall between service and solar ends.


The timbers are painted red, following evidence that this was done when the house was built originally, probably in the 15th century.


The team at the museum served spiced apple juice as well as spiced biscuits.


Sarah Green and her husband, Tim, took their two sons, Freddie, aged four, and Sam, aged six.


Tim said: “We were going to have a quiet day at home, but the kids were still excited this morning so we came here as a last minute plan. It’s really nice to get some fresh air after a day being inside.


“We come here quite a bit throughout the year so both Sam and Freddie know it well here. It’s nice to be able to let them run about safely and learn as well.”


Sarah also feels the museum is a great place to go. She said: “The children really do pick up on a lot of things when they come here. They point out things in the houses and grounds that we would otherwise miss! It’s been a great way to spend Boxing Day.”


The next event at the museum will be their annual wassailing day on Saturday, January 19. Visitors can watch and take part in a number of traditional and craft activities with a wassailing theme between 12pm and 3pm.


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