The South Down’s Heritage Centre is located within South Downs Garden Centre and can easily be missed. It is described as an exhibition of local heritage crafts. It is a free museum and maintained by donations and the Tate family (the owners of the garden centre)
It consists of two rooms contain numerous items from the past 150 years or so, all relating to rural crafts found in the local area. These range from blacksmith to carpenter and bee-keeper to farmer.
The are a vast number of items on display, but mostly without any form of description or background. They are displayed in rather cramped conditions and it is virtually all static, with just a few items moving – a lathe and a milk cooler. The items are arranged in themes, such as a village shop, a cobblers and a trug maker.
The tour of the museum only lasts about ten minutes due to it’s compactness. I feel that the museum doesn’t do the collection justice – it really needs more room and more boards describing the items.
It is not somewhere to plan on going for a whole day, but if you are passing then you can call in and visit, and get a drink or something to eat in the garden centre’s cafe.