Downton Abbey star attends launch of Weald and Downland Living Museum's Golden Future Campaign

A two-year fundraising campaign to raise in excess of £2m has been launched by The Weald and Downland Living Museum last night (Thursday).

The open-air museum in Singleton first opened its doors on September 5, 1970 to 'preserve and celebrate' the history of rural England.

Hugh Bonneville with David and Caroline Nicholls. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. DM19100514a

Hugh Bonneville with David and Caroline Nicholls. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. DM19100514a

The campaign, set up to mark the museum’s 50th anniversary, aims to secure its future 'for the next 50 years and beyond'. It will run throughout the 50th anniversary year in 2020 and continue until the end of 2021.

Campaign ambassadors included much-loved actor, Hugh Bonneville, star of Downton Abbey, Ruth Goodman and Dr Jonathan Foyle.

Hugh said: "I am delighted to support the Weald & Downland Living Museum in celebrating all that this innovative institution has achieved over the past 50 years [and] to ensure it can continue its inspiring work for the next generation and beyond."

A spokesperson for the museum the main objectives of the campaign are to 'enrich the visitor experience, improve facilities and underpin the protection of the buildings and artefacts within the care of the museum'.

It said the objectives fall under four pillars; access; the conservation of Titchfield Market Hall; underpinning the museum’s future by raising money for the Museum Endowment and a museum fund, called The 50 Fund, will be created to expand interpretation on site with more live, hands-on demonstrations as well as supplement ongoing building maintenance and
conservation.

Read more about these objectives here

The museum also officially opened its Newdigate Bakehouse and Eastwick Park Dairy yesterday evening. Read more and see pictures from the event here