Heritage chalk

One of the treats we experienced while back home in the UK was a lovely visit to the Amberley Working Museum.

It’s a large open air museum on the site of the chalk pits that were in use from about 1830 – 1963. Nowadays, it houses a lot of items from the early Victorian era.

There is a printing workshop and a resident blacksmith at the forge.

There is a wheelwright, a stained glass maker, a potter and a walking-stick maker.

I also came across a Victorian version of a shoe shop: it was fascinating to see shoes and boots in the making.

There are vintage buses and beautiful glossy fire engines, looking like works of art on wheels.

Other beautifully crafted vehicles included these carts, made of weathered wood.

It was a relaxing break to go back in time to a slower era, to a time when great technological changes were about to make a breakthrough.

Or as the Victorian writer, Charles Dickens wrote:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us….”

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54 responses

  1. I love these going-back-in-time moments. Of course, if I had a personal Tardis . . .

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 19:33

  2. I love that Dickens quote.

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 20:08

  3. There’s so much to learn about history and the old way of doing things by visiting such museums.

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 20:32

  4. Love that quote too and I enjoy learning history this way by visiting working museums.

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 20:37

  5. fascinating…i love visiting places like that where people actually practice the old skills…i like to watch them…

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 20:50

  6. Very cool. I love places like this.

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 20:52

  7. That was really interesting. Those carts look really old. I´m glad I didn´t have to live in that time period.

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 21:11

    • mother of the cousins

      those carts are the old fire engines!

      Like

      August 10, 2010 at 10:56

      • Are they? I had no idea! That is AMAZING!

        Like

        August 10, 2010 at 11:17

  8. Thanks for posting those great photos…it’s always fun to see how things were in days gone by.

    The Dickens quote, if you think about it, is quite true in today’s world, too.

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 21:12

  9. Di

    Charles Dickens got it right. He said it perfectly.

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 21:20

  10. Maggie May

    I love anything like this and the nearest similar museum that I have been to, is the Black Country Living Museum in Birmingham.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 21:58

  11. What a marvelous trip back in time! I love it!! And I love the Dickens quote! Terrific captures, Ladyfi! What a fun look at a part of your world! Have a wonderful week!

    Sylvia

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 22:52

  12. That sounds like a wonderful place to visit. Great shots.

    Like

    August 9, 2010 at 23:55

  13. Very interesting. I love living history museums. This looks like a good one.

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 01:07

  14. I’m in awe of those craftspeople! We take modern methods so much for granted, but there’s really interest in value in handcrafting a shoe – for people or for horses.

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 01:41

  15. Al

    Fascinating – I love places like this. But I wouldn’t want to live in those times, I’ll take my modern conveniences and medicine.

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 02:13

  16. We have gotten a bit burned out on Museums, because there are so many bad ones out here. But this one looks so interesting; I like to see re-enactments of how it used to be. I’d go to this one!

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 03:12

  17. It’s always interesting to see what we come from to appreciate what we have more.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 03:59

  18. Good ol’ days. As to the Dickens’ quote – I’d like to go forward into a slower era…

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 04:40

  19. what a great experience that must be. i also enjoy visits to our own heritage sites–makes me more appreciate our culture. the Dickens quote is awesome.

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 07:06

  20. an enlightening walk down history!

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 07:07

  21. I love, love, love history. I’m always so intrigued to learn about how ppl lived back then. Amazing

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 08:09

  22. lilalia

    How did your children think about going so far back in time? I’ve always wondered whether there is a certain point that no longer is possible for the children to step back into. The pioneer museums I have been in were always, from the technological point of view, that what my great grandparents knew. Since I knew my great grandparents, it was easy for me to relate to their stories due to visits to the museums. But, would my children feel the same?

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 08:59

    • I think they were surprised by how ‘primitive’ everything was. It was the first time they saw one of those dial phones that you had to dial each number for… and they played with that phone for at least an hour!

      Like

      August 10, 2010 at 11:19

  23. Hi LadyFi
    questo è un posto che mi piacerebbe vedere…
    Grazie della visita 🙂
    Buona giornata.

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 09:01

  24. That looks so interesting to visit !

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 09:49

  25. That quote from the “Tale of Two Cities.” Great blog Fi. I really enjoyed your photos and wished I could visit there. – Dave

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 10:25

  26. Love visiting these places – gives us perspective.

    In Victorian times, laundry took the whole day and guess who did it? Women.

    Technology has really freed women.

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 10:43

  27. The displays in the museum are truly fanastic.

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 10:48

  28. LadyFi: Those people are really artisans in what they make.

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 11:36

  29. Ah, now a museum like that is right up my alley-way. To have that many artisans under the same roof is a wonderful way to preserve such quickly disappearing skills. I lov e your display and appreciate walking around the museum with you.

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 12:15

  30. I love history and think it’s absolutely wonderful that these places still exist! It’s important not to loose sight of our past

    C x

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 12:46

  31. Very interesting and great shots, old things has a special charm! 🙂

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 13:25

  32. zeal4adventure

    Always love these kinds of museum. It allows for a glimpse of the years gone by. Love the quote. So meaningful. Great post!

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 15:54

  33. Places like that are so wonderful to really give us a feel for what it was like.

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 16:06

  34. I love visiting places like that. To expereince old times.

    So you are English? Living in Sweden. I thought you were swedish. 🙂

    Like

    August 10, 2010 at 22:37

    • That’s right. I’m an ex-pat Brit who has been living in Sweden for 14 yrs now.

      Like

      August 11, 2010 at 07:55

  35. Happy Tuesday!

    Like

    August 11, 2010 at 01:01

  36. I need to take my Little One to see something like this to help him appreciate that life wasn’t always like it is today.

    Like

    August 11, 2010 at 01:54

  37. fascinating post, first photo is a winner.

    Like

    August 11, 2010 at 02:00

  38. Very intetesting step back in time. As usual you did a great job letting your photos tell the story.

    Like

    August 11, 2010 at 02:42

  39. Thank you for this trip back in time….I just love museums.

    Like

    August 11, 2010 at 04:00

  40. Beautiful place and photos, I like these stuff from the past

    Regards, Bram

    My WordPress Blog, My World Tuesday

    Seen on My World Tuesday

    Like

    August 11, 2010 at 07:17

  41. Wonderful interesting photos. I feel like I’ve stepped back in time.
    You have some really lovely photos. Thank you for visiting and your kind comments.
    Cheers,
    Melbourne Daily Photo

    Like

    August 11, 2010 at 15:18

  42. I hope you’re having a whimsical Wednesday!

    Like

    August 11, 2010 at 20:11

  43. What incredible experiences for your kids! This was better than a field trip at school!

    Like

    August 11, 2010 at 22:20

  44. Lew

    You have a lot istory in your world also. Beautifully photographed!

    Like

    August 12, 2010 at 04:18

  45. That is lovely. So peaceful.

    Like

    August 12, 2010 at 10:32

  46. It’s amazing you found a young man working in this place.

    Sorry I didn’t get back to you about the silo. Yes, it is a concrete silo. I am not sure if it is used to store cement. or the alaready mixed concrete. i see a lot of their trucks on the road.

    Like

    August 12, 2010 at 13:20

  47. I hope you took the Anklebiters..I love these back to a simpler time places..I find them very interesting and calming:)

    Like

    August 12, 2010 at 20:35

    • Yes, anklebiters loved it all!

      Like

      August 12, 2010 at 21:07

  48. excellent!

    Like

    August 13, 2010 at 03:17

  49. There are several good “Living history” museums in the UK. Blists Hill on the Severn near Ironbridge is another one, but for me the Victorian period still feels quite close; it’s the Viking and medieval period I would really like to see!

    Like

    August 13, 2010 at 13:48

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