Step back through the centuries of our rural heritage at Victorian farmstead

PUBLISHED: 14:00 02 May 2019

Victorian farm equipment at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum.

Victorian farm equipment at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum.

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Stuck for something to do for the May Bank Holiday? Why not visit the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum?

The 1940s Room at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum.The 1940s Room at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum.

Take a trip back in time this bank holiday and journey through the decades at a restored Victorian farm.

The Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum offers a remarkable insight into how ordinary men, women and children lived over the course of almost two hundred years.

Located not far from Whipsnade Zoo, in the shadow of Ivinghoe Beacon, the farm traces its history back to around 1808, and was owned by the Hawkins family until 2001, when it was gifted to the National Trust.

The farm is now run entirely by volunteers, who work tirelessly on restoration work and general upkeep, but open the site up to the public on a handful of days each year.

A model railway at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum.A model railway at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum.

The next open day is Bank Holiday Monday, when visitors will have a chance to wander around the farm and explore rooms themed on different decades throughout its history.

A spokesperson explained: “The park captures the spirit of a bygone age when life was harder but slower than it is today.

“There are more than 40 different locations with displays for you to visit, many of which will have a volunteer on hand to demonstrate or just answer your questions.

“Try your hand at some ancient crafts such as lacemaking, or take home a pot made by your own fair hands under the expert tuition of the friendly potters waiting to pass on their skills to a new generation.”

Inside a plane cockpit at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green MuseumInside a plane cockpit at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum

Highlights include two major model railway layouts, tractor rides to nearby Pitstone Windmill, the cockpit of a Lancaster Bomber, a huge 27-litre gas engine and a rack saw capable of demolishing tree trunks.

Book binding, basket weaving, pottery and other rural pursuits are demonstrated throughout the day, and traders are on hand selling homemade produce in the big barn.

The 1940s and 1950s rooms depict domestic life during these eventful periods of British history, complete with personal momentoes, documents, costumes and posters, and a complete country kitchen has been recreated from the house of Pitstone builder Garnett Williamson.

Other attractions are a collection of early home computers, with working games of Pong, displays of artefacts uncovered by local archaeologists on the nearby site of the Ridgeway, one of the oldest roads in England, and rooms dedicated to traditional country crafts like wheelwrights, carpenters, blacksmiths and haymaking.

Morris dancers at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green MuseumMorris dancers at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum

And once you've finished your tour, sample some delicious homemade food from the café and enjoy special attractions like Morris dancers, jalopy rides or displays of classic cars.

For more information see www.pitstonemuseum.co.uk

The Heritage Park at Pitstone Green MuseumThe Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum

Family fun at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum.Family fun at the Heritage Park at Pitstone Green Museum.

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